Christian group claims anti-bullying lessons promote ‘radical sexual experimentation’
The Australian Christian Lobby want to stop anti-bullying program for gay, intersex and gender diverse children in Queensland Australia – claiming they promote “radical sexual experimentation.”
The Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) scheme – which is also available in Victoria, Tasmania, The Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales – is fully federally funded and has been used to make schools in the area, as Brisbane Times puts, “more inclusive for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse young people.”
In order to promote acceptance within these educational environments the resources are captioned with lines such as: “this is a discrimination free zone. Homophobia and transphobia will not be tolerated, K thanks” or “safe schools do better”.
As well as posters, the scheme also aims to tackle improper language use – such as “that’s so gay” – by showing children how to use other phrases to describe something negative.
Wendy Francis – Queensland state director of the ACL – told the Brisbane Times: “No one should be bullied at school, including children grappling with same-sex attraction or gender confusion.
“But this program goes way beyond an anti-bullying program…Children have the right to their innocence…the wallpaper of our children’s lives should not be continually sexual.”
The ACL has launched a petition calling for the government to “immediately cease this program which promotes radical sexual experimentation from Queensland schools.” They are also arguing that some of the program materials did not go through a parliamentary filter, even though the materials in question are not utilised in the Queensland scheme.
Vice-president of the Queensland Teachers’ Union said that “the QTU voted to support the program’s use in Queensland”, however it should be noted that the scheme – which has been described as “innovative, practical and successful” – is not compulsory in schools.
The choice of whether to run the program is in the decision of the principals of the schools because – as Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones explained – “Principals, in consultation with their school community, are best placed to determine what kind of resources suit the needs of their schools.
She continued with: “Our election commitment will ensure Queensland schools have access to the same resources available in the ACT, NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. it means schools will have access to a resource that promotes safety and inclusiveness.”
Ms Francis’ argument mentions how: “Experts say when it comes to bullying – never engage the issue – teach the child to block the bully…help them deal with their distress and powerlessness, teach them how to block bullies and rebuild their social survival skills.”