ver the past week the Safe Schools program (SCAA) has featured in the news with some in the Federal Coalition calling for a review. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ordered the independent review last Tuesday and it will be completed by mid-March. Safe Schools is a school education program aimed at promoting acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & Intersex (LGBTI) students. The teaching manual was set up by Labor but launched by the Coalition in 2014. The main concern appears to be the ageappropriateness of what is being taught to 11 year-olds. Other concerns include some of the links from the program to websites that promote concerning material. For example, The Minus 18 website (Australia’s largest youth-led network for gay, bi, lesbian and trans teens) has an article instructing kids on how to “Cover their tracks” on the Internet. Another link leads to an article on how to make your own sex toys, finding women to teach cross-dressing skills, healthier and safer ways to bind your chest, an online sex shop and so on. Seeing that $8 million of federal money is being used to support this program the government has every right to call a review – and any tax payer has a right to express their opinion on this. While some are calling for all funding to be withdrawn and the program to be axed, the review could lead to some healthy modifications to SCAA so that it is fairer and more age-appropriate. In the meantime there seems to be plenty of unhelpful mudslinging from both “sides” of the debate. For example, Katherine Hudson on the New Matilda site writes, “The prejudiced views of Senator Cory Bernardi and his rightist droogs are shared by many dictators, despots and despicable leaders, including Putin, Kim Jongun, Mugabe, and ISIS terrorists. Those who’ve come out against the Safe Schools Program aren’t reasonable conservatives, they’re homophobic reactionaries, who want a return to ‘the days of the old school yard’ where LGBTIQ students lived in fear and silence.” This sort of rant is singularly
12 | The Christian Pulse, August/September 2016
Published on Aug 4, 2016
Welcome to the latest issue of The Christian Pulse, the magazine for www.mychristiandaily.com. This issue we feature 'How Not to Sacrifice Y...