The Andrews Government’s “Respectful Relationships” program has failed to deliver any impact in stemming youth violence in Victoria.
Victorian State Director for the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), Jasmine Yuen, said, “Recent violent attacks involving youth, including assaults on teachers and three Melbourne West students being arrested, a teenage boy stabbed to death on the street, along with a concerning surge in armed youth attacks in Watergardens, Point Cook, Braybrook, Tarneit, St Albans and Sunshine, and now the weekend stabbing of two young people in the food court of the busy Doncaster Westfield shopping centre in front of families with young children are all evidence that the ideologically driven ‘Respectful Relationships’ program is doing nothing to foster a culture of respect amongst our school children.
“The Andrews government’s ideologically driven ‘Respectful Relationships’ program was promoted as a means to teach young people to show respect and stop any violent behaviours, but it has failed our kids. Federal Labor colleague, Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah MP, said, ‘Carrying a knife is becoming normalised for some children in Melbourne and police should be given increased powers to use metal-detecting wands to randomly scan people for weapons.’
Mrs Yuen concluded, “It’s time for the‘Respectful Relationships’ program to be scrapped from the Victorian school curriculum and for the government to explore better options to get our school students back on the right track.”
In view of the rise of juvenile delinquency to a dangerous level, the Australian Christian Lobby calls on the Andrews Government and the Education Department of Victoria to replace the failed ‘Respectful Relationships’ program with authentic anti-bullying resources, devoid of hidden agendas.