Recent comments by Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff that the controversial “Safe Schools” program would be discontinued in Tasmania may provide false comfort to parents, warns Australian Christian Lobby Tasmanian director, Mark Brown.

Mr Brown said Working it Out, which has been running the “Safe Schools” program in Tasmania for the past two years, had been gifted the right to continue teaching the same contested gender theory but under a different name.

 “Working it Out is a sexuality and gender support and education service with views very much in line with those of the Safe Schools Program,” Mr Brown said.  

“This looks in every way like a recipe for a Safe School Mark II with all the same content under a different brand name.

“Why is there a stipulation in the government guidelines for the new program  to focus on gender and sexuality when research shows that LGBTI students are not the main cohort experiencing bullying in schools?”

Research indicates that students who have an odd physical appearance or who are obese are much more likely to be bullied at school.

“With nearly 30 per cent of Tasmanian children overweight or obese, why are these children not a key focus of anti-bullying programs?” Mr Brown asked.

“No child should be bullied for any reason, but teaching students their gender is something they can choose for themselves is pure indoctrination, not bullying prevention.” Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown is also concerned that other groups who, unlike Working it Out, have a purely anti-bullying platform may miss out on being involved in the new anti-bullying program.

“I know of a nationally recognised anti-bullying organisation initiated in Tasmania that was incredibly upset with the government’s decision not to put the community partnership up for tender last year.”