The Australian Christian Lobby has renewed its calls for state and federal governments to de-fund the so-called Safe Schools program in response to last night’s Channel 7 Sunday Night program.

The program featured the six year-old-son of Melbourne parents Scott and Kiera Charmichael who with the support of “Safe Schools” had transitioned to identify as a girl at the age of five.

ACL spokesperson for children, Wendy Francis said gender queer theory upon which “Safe Schools” was based was contested ideology that was questionable from a scientific perspective.

“While we all should empathise with the struggle of the Charmichael family, there are many physicial characteristics about which children can experience deep anxiety.

“We should be encouraging children to love their bodies regardless of physical characteristics.

“No matter how much this boy tries, he will never be able to be a biological girl. That is not a statement of prejudice, it is just a fact,” she said.

“If children have a big nose, or are having weight issues we do not tell them they need to change or that we do not accept them as they are. We are all unique and wonderfully made and the message from all parents to their children should be that they are beautiful regardless of physical characteristics.

“Children need reassurance from their parents, particularly in the face of confusing messages, that they are loved as they are.

“The idea that a child’s body is deficient is something that as parents and a community we should push back on.

“We don’t treat children suffering anorexia with liposuction, nor should we encourage children struggling with gender identity issues to make physical changes to their appearance or bodies.

“The Safe Schools program is based on contested queer theory which should not be imposed on all students.

“While we believe it’s important that anti-bullying programs exist in schools, given the questions marks surrounding Safe Schools this should not be the vehicle to teach our children. There are more holistic anti-bullying programs already in existence that can be used in classrooms,” Ms Francis said.

The ideology and flawed science underpinning Safe Schools has been exposed in a report by University of Sydney Law School professor Patrick Parkinson who makes it clear that while a very small minority of children may experience some gender confusion growing up, in most cases this is resolved by adulthood.

“Safe Schools prematurely treats children as if they had adult sexual feelings and concerns,” Ms Francis said.

“Safe Schools shouldn’t be used to induct entire classrooms into contested queer theory, as was seen on Sunday Night with the reading of ‘Introducing Teddy’, the story of a transgender teddy bear.”