A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the ‘All of Us’ teaching program created by the ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ – which is being funded by the federal government to the tune of $8 million and rolled out in schools across the country (around 490 of them so far).
At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s all about keeping children safe. Not quite. In it’s current form, it’s actually a sickening, agenda-driven LGBTI program which, among other things, involves material such as the following:
In a lesson on same-sex attraction, students as young as 11 are told to imagine they are 16-year-olds who are “going out with someone they are really into’’. The class is divided into students pretending to be going out with someone of the same sex, and classmates pretending to like someone of the opposite sex.
I have absolutely no objection to teaching general LGBTI issues, tolerance and respect to children in schools. However, I draw the line at having 11 year old children role playing in such a manner – particularly if it’s without parental consent.
Thankfully, some common sense appears to be prevailing, with Malcolm Turnbull ordering a review into the program:
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered a review into a controversial school education program aimed at promoting acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBTI) students.
An independent review announced on Tuesday will advise Education Minister Simon Birmingham on whether the program’s material is “age appropriate” by mid-March.
(Don’t you just love the Sydney Morning Herald’s blithe description of the program as ‘aimed at promoting acceptance’).
The big question is what happens from here? Politically, Turnbull would be foolish if he either abandoned the program or kept it as is. My prediction is a redrafting of the material. Renaming it to something more in keeping with what it actually is would also help. Why wouldn’t you make it clear in the name of the program that it’s all about teaching tolerance and respect for LGBTI people – and everyone else for that matter? If done sensibly, it’s actually a good thing.
Another question is how on Earth did the Abbott government allow this program to be introduced in its current form?
The Safe Schools teaching manual, set up by Labor but launched by the Coalition in 2014, has been under fire in recent weeks from conservative politicians, the ACL and News Corp newspapers.
Sources said this was not the first time the party room had discussed the Safe Schools program, with concerns also raised under Tony Abbott’s leadership.
Perhaps it was a fight that Abbott felt like he couldn’t afford to have, given his popularity issues.
Lastly, to all the readers of The Marcus Review who spread the word about this issue: thank you for doing your bit.