30 July 2015
The Australian Christian Lobby today welcomed a reprimand from the office of Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne towards Safe Schools’ political activism components, but urgently stressed that much more needs to be done, pointing to a growing community backlash against the program’s extreme content.
“The Education Minister is right to ask why an ‘anti-bullying’ campaign is encouraging schools to get involved in same-sex marriage parades,” said ACL Spokeswoman Wendy Francis.
The Minister’s move comes on the back of parent’s criticisms of the federally funded program.
Toowoomba parents are concerned about the clearly harmful content which includes instructing gender-confused young girls on how to bind their chests so that their breasts don’t develop.
Maroochydore resident and mother of three, Simone Leslie, said that school children are too young to handle the information, "It's not based on whether they are gay or heterosexual, it's sexual, they're minors, they're not of the age of consent, and it's not ok.”
Ms Leslie’s comments come after explicit content from the program’s literature was posted in ACL media releases, including the following:
“Penis-in-vagina sex is not the only sex, and certainly not the ultimate sex. If you ask me, virginity is whatever you think it is. I’ve had friends who count their first time giving oral as their virginity.”
(Source OMG I’m Queer (currently offline) page 10, paragraph 4 and Minus18).
The program also encourages children to cross-dress and says that they should be able to use the bathroom of their choice.
Following this attention, the Safe Schools Coalition Victorian website, which holds many of the most harmful publications, has been down since 4pm yesterday, the explanation being: ‘briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance’.
Ms Francis said it was encouraging to see the public coming out strongly against the radical program and called on the Federal and State governments to take action.
“‘Site maintenance’ is not going to remedy the harms of this program. The government needs to defund it and its corporate sponsors need to walk away. There are many excellent anti-bullying programs available to schools but this is clearly not one of them.”