14 February 2016

The Australian Christian Lobby today welcomed a commitment by Federal Education Minister Senator Simon Birmingham to examine the content of Safe Schools material that endorses unsafe practices and teaches rainbow ideology to children as young as 11.

However, Australian Christian Lobby spokesperson Wendy Francis said it was not sufficient for Minister Birmingham to hold off the review, as he suggested today on Sky News’ Australian Agenda, until after the $8 million of taxpayer funding runs out in 2018.

“Disturbing reports have come out in the last week which have exposed the graphic sexualised nature of the Safe Schools material and the Minus 18 website it promotes to kids,” Ms Francis said.

“The Australian Christian Lobby calls on Minister Birmingham to immediately defund the program.

“Mr Birmingham has defended the objectives of the program saying it has “perfectly reasonable objectives”.

“It is hard to see what part of the program might be reasonable.

“Does he find it acceptable that 11 year-olds are taught the meaning of terms such as ‘queer’, ‘pansexual’, ‘sister girl’ and ‘trans guy’?

“Is it reasonable for 11-year-olds to role playing in class where they are imagining that they are 16 and in a same-sex relationship?”

Ms Francis said no one wanted bullying in schools and no one would have an issue with Safe Schools if it really was an anti-bulling program.

“Mr Birmingham has sadly missed the point. No one is saying that bullying is okay, but providing instructions for girls on chest-binding and boys on genital tucking or having boys in girls’ toilets has nothing to do with a bullying program.

“There are already many good bullying programs in place that deal with bullying in all its forms.

“We call on schools to remove this material immediately until at least a thorough investigation is undertaken and the content is fully explained to parents,” Ms Francis said.

“it is not enough to say that the schools have autonomy in using a program the Minister is funding when it contains harmful information. The Government still has a responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of children in the school system.

“Rather than being unhelpful, as he said today, the Minister should be thankful that these disturbing findings have come to light so that action can be taken.”