The Marcus Review looks at the latest instalment in the Roz Ward saga, before breaking down and responding to leftist commentator Jeff Sparrow’s arguments in support of her conduct.
Last week, The Marcus Review warned that surrender was the last thing on Ward’s mind following her Facebook flag fiasco:
If you think that society has now been purged of Roz Ward, think again. This piece of totalitarian slime is still on the payroll at La Trobe University and a Safe Schools manager (you’ll have to forgive me for reserving my opinion of La Trobe’s investigation into her behaviour). She still has plenty more in store and did not resign her Victorian Government advisory position simply to skulk back into the sewer.
Legal experts have questioned whether La Trobe University could be penalised through the courts for its two-day suspension of Safe Schools founder Roz Ward, as the outspoken academic returned to work yesterday.
Ms Ward defiantly vowed to keep “fighting back” to push the program through schools after she received cheers, high-fives and a guard of honour from National Tertiary Education Union supporters at her Melbourne campus.
Ms Ward — an NTEU delegate — had instructed Maurice Blackburn to launch a case in the Federal Court if La Trobe failed to withdraw her suspension, and is still considering whether to make a claim for adverse action.
Even worse than the above is the following, which seems to have escaped everyone’s attention so far:
The union is still considering whether to launch legal action against La Trobe, even though the university dropped its misconduct investigation into allegations she breached its code of conduct.
Why has the university dropped its investigation so quickly? Was it all just for show in the first place, or has it been bullied into silence and inaction?
Regarding Ward’s return to work, the picture above appears in today’s Australian (link above) and shows her ‘guard of honour’. As disturbing as this may seem, don’t be fooled by this ‘projection’. The people involved are not regular people and I doubt whether many (if any) are even her co-workers: they are predominantly people from the NTEU helping Ward pull off a stunt. Looking at the video, there appears to be barely a couple dozen people present in any event – plus one motorist who appears to have been inhibited from going about their business (11 seconds in).
The left’s support of Ward
The Guardian’s Jeff Sparrow has written an extensive ramble in support of Roz Ward. As his argument is typical of how both radical and regular leftists view this situation, The Marcus Review breaks down the dribble:
‘Could Ward have kept her job if she liked the Australian flag a little’… Kennett and Birmingham and the other offence-mongers have taken particular umbrage at Ward’s lack of enthusiasm for the Australian flag’
This is not about Ward ‘not liking’ the Australian flag, it’s about how she thinks it’s racist and should be replaced with a socialist/communist red flag. Sparrow’s attempt to reduce the issue down to Ward simply ‘not liking’ or having a ‘lack of enthusiasm’ for our flag is a pathetic straw man.
Here’s a tip for Sparrow: Ward would have done a lot better with the public if she had kept her extreme opinion to herself or, heaven forbid, shown some basic respect for our flag.
PS: Ward kept her job and was always going to.
‘Tony Abbott once delivered a press conference behind a phalanx of 10 flags’
Oh no! How could he!
By the way, in what was easily the best decision she ever made as Prime Minister, Julia Gillard welcomed Barack Obama with an armada of 12 flags.
So what’s Sparrow’s point supposed to be here anyway? How is any of this relevant to Ward’s conduct or the merits of the Safe Schools program?
American Senator Joseph McCarthy used to publicly denounce communists in the 1950s
Yes, this really is about the extent of Sparrow’s argument here. Apparently, it’s relevant that, in 1954, someone questioned whether McCarthy had a ‘sense of decency’.
What this has to do with Ward calling the Australian flag ‘racist’, asking for it to be replaced with a ‘red’ one and the substance of the Safe Schools program is anybody’s guess.
Given Roz Ward’s conduct to date, it is her sense of decency which should be under greater scrutiny.
‘Yes, Ward is a socialist. So was John Curtin and George Orwell and Helen Keller and Albert Einstein and Oscar Wilde’
Ward is not a socialist. She’s a hard line, extreme Marxist, communist and totalitarian. I include ‘totalitarian’ for two good reasons (among many others): firstly, anyone who has read Animal Farm and 1984 will know that it was, ironically, Orwell who warned us that socialism and communism attract and inevitably lead to totalitarianism and mass poverty (among other evils). Secondly, Ward’s own actions offer a fine example of Orwell’s prophecy:
A Safe Schools national symposium was told by the program’s Victorian co-ordinator, Roz Ward, that schools could ignore concerns raised about the agenda.
“When people do complain then school leadership can very calmly and graciously say, ‘You know what? We’re doing it anyway, tough luck’!” she told more than 300 attendees.
“(It’s) not about celebrating diversity; not about stopping bullying,” Ms Ward said.
“(It’s) about gender and sexual diversity. About same-sex attractive, about being transgender, about being lesbian, gay, bisexual — say the words — transgender, intersex. Not just, ‘Be nice to everyone; everyone’s great’.”
For Sparrow to then go on and and put Ward and Einstein in the same socialist basket takes the cake for hilarity. Yes, I’m sure Einstein (and the others) would have conceived the Safe Schools program if given the chance – and denounced human reproduction while claiming that only Marxism has the ability to sexually liberate everyone for good measure. For sure.
‘Is the minister really arguing that, unless you have popular opinions, you can’t be employed in education?’
You know what would help Ward here? Some qualifications in education! That’s right, Ward has none whatsoever and thinks that this is no barrier to imparting aspects of the Safe Schools agenda to Year 3 children:
And despite having no education qualifications, she has taught elements of the program, designed for the Years 7 and 8 curriculums, to Year 3 children.
PS: Ward has a ‘degree’ in ‘gender studies’… Yep.
All up, it seems that Sparrow has some difficulty with understanding why people would have little confidence in a ‘teacher’ with no education qualifications, who thinks that the Australian flag is racist and that we should all be living under a ‘gender fluid’ Marxist regime. This probably explains the straw man that Sparrow has pitifully erected here – that the minister (Simon Birmingham) somehow thinks that you must have popular opinions to be employed in education.
‘At the risk of stating the obvious, Ward’s Facebook posts bear no relationship to the merits or otherwise of Safe Schools…
Ward’s Facebook post in question was used to promote radical Marxist views. Funnily enough, that’s precisely what a large chunk of the Safe Schools program sets out to do:
- Lesson 1 – establishing a safe space and requiring children to sign up to a ‘Group Agreement’ of ‘agreed behaviours’ such as: ‘we don’t gossip about what’s been said in this class’ (page 17).
- Lesson 6 – reducing ‘heteronormativity’, becoming an LGBTI ‘Ally’ and writing and signing an ‘Ally’s Pledge’ (page 42-43).
- Lesson 7 – how to stand out as an LGBTI Ally and undertaking an ‘Ally Special Mission’ which must be completed within a week (page 46).
- Lesson 8 – strategies to create a ‘Safe School for All of Us‘ (page 50). There are specific suggestions on pages 52-53, such as creating a ‘safe space for LGBTI people and their allies to meet regularly’.
Who would have thought that a program devised by a radical Marxist would have radical Marxist elements to it? Not Sparrow apparently. What a guy.
Almost without exception the people feigning horror at Ward’s views opposed Safe Schools long before they tracked down her Facebook page. They hate the program not because they object to Roz Ward but because they object to sexual diversity’
Sparrow’s right about one thing: people don’t oppose the Safe Schools program because they object to Ward. This is for the simple reason that such a view would be lacking in substance and cogent foundation. Informed people have long disagreed with the program because of its communistic indoctrination, its sexually inappropriate material (which doesn’t make it through school internet firewalls) and because it seeks to keep parents out of the equation:
Some of the material, especially that provided by the associated Minus 18 website, is too graphic to pass school firewalls, and students are urged to ask teachers to unblock it. This means a federal education program is advising schools to allow changes to their firewall protection. Parents may be interested in that one…
Right and wrong are moral issues, so the issue of parental consent is vital to any review of this program. Yet it has been barely explored…
The real point is about parental control. The LGBTI lobby has sneaked this agenda into nearly 500 schools under the guise of anti-bullying, and parental consultation was not welcome because it knew how Australian parents would feel about it.
Unlike Sparrow, I’ve actually read the Safe Schools Coalition ‘All of Us’ unit guide and can back my conclusions with full referencing to the source material. He should give it a go.
No doubt the La Trobe bigwigs imagine they’re protecting their program by throwing Ward to the wolves. They think that, if they dump her, the controversy will disappear. They’re delusional.
As you can see from the opening of this article, La Trobe has done no such thing and probably never had any intention of doing so.
The idea that La Trobe would ‘dump’ Ward is yet another baseless extrapolation Sparrow has engaged in.
In fact, one of the more striking aspects of the whole affair is the extent to which the publications polemicising against Ward are unashamedly promoting the schoolyard transphobia Safe Schools seeks to overcome.
To wrap it all up, Sparrow cracks out the standard leftist catch-all: call everyone who disagrees ‘[insert]phobic’.
Suffice to say, a bookmaker would probably let you choose your odds on Sparrow actually having read the material he has referred to here.
For Sparrow to say that ‘schoolyard transphobia’ is being ‘unashamedly’ promoted by any of these publications is nothing short of defamatory.