The NSW Government’s decision to withhold support for Mark Latham’s Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 leaves parents on the outer when it comes to deciding the suitability of material taught to their children.  

In March, 2022, ACL received around 5,200 signatures in just a few weeks to an ePetition that supported the Parental Rights Bill. 

Mr. Latham’s Bill was designed to ensure parents, and not the State, are responsible for instilling core values, morals, and ethics into their children. The Bill set a framework that would require schools to work in consultation with parents and allow parents to withdraw their children from classes where content is not in alignment with their family’s social and religious views.

A recent decision by Federal and State Education Ministers to mandate ‘consent education’ highlights the need for a Bill such as Mark Latham’s Parental Rights Bill. Although not specifically spelled out by Education Ministers, consent education introduces children to sexuality, sexual practices, and gender expressions, supposedly to allow them to make informed decisions of sexual consent.

The first and final point of ‘consent’ for children as young as five should be the child’s parent(s) or legal guardian. Under Mr. Latham’s Bill, parents would have the right to withdraw their children from classes in which sex and gender ideologies are taught.

The responsibility and right of parents to guide their children on matters of sex and sexuality must be preserved. Children, as young as five, should not be exposed to material that steals their innocence or influences their choices outside the safety of their parents and family. 

Mr. Latham is revising the bill to ensure that parental rights are protected by law.