Is the Commonwealth government justified in reviewing the Safe Schools Coalition program directed at lessoning the impact of bullying by creating “safer and more inclusive educational environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families”?
According to a comment piece on the newmatilda.com website the answer is “no”. Katherine Hudson argues that those expressing concerns about the program share the views of “many dictators, despots and despicable leaders, including Putin, Kim Jong-un, Mugabe, and ISIS terrorists”. So much for rational and sensible debate.
The reality is, though, based on an analysis of the program’s resources, the answer is “yes”. Instead of focusing on the problem of bullying the program is more about promoting a cultural-left LGBTQI agenda and presenting a negative view of heterosexuality.
The Coalition’s booklet Safe Schools Do Better states that the program’s intention is to support “sexual diversity, intersex and gender diversity in schools” and to “create change in schools”.
To achieve this change teachers are asked to check whether their school has “anti-discrimination, bullying or diversity policies that explicitly name homophobia, transphobia and support for sexual and gender diversity”.
Materials include posters, library resources, lesson plans and websites — many of which present a one-sided view of gender and sexuality that lacks the objectivity expected when dealing with such sensitive and often controversial matters.
Most parents would consider in the normal course of events that their children are either boys of girls but according to the Safe Schools Do Better booklet parents who do so are guilty of “heterosexism”.
Heterosexism involves the assumption that “everyone is, or should be, heterosexual and that other types of sexuality or gender identity are unnatural or not as good as being heterosexual”.
Ignored is the fact that believing sexuality involves a man and a woman does not equate with homophobia and transphobia and the reality, according to one study by researchers at La Trobe University, is that approximately 98 per cent of women and men identify as heterosexual.
While the statistics quoted by the Safe Schools Coalition argues that 10 per cent of students are same-sex attracted it also needs to be noted that an Australian survey carried out by Ray Morgan Research puts the figure at 4.6 per cent of young people aged 14-19. The overwhelming majority of young people are heterosexual.
If the purpose of a union between a man and a woman is procreation then the physical reality is that heterosexuality is the norm and no amount of LGBTQI wishful thinking can make it otherwise.
In relation to gender, one of the Safe Schools’ recommended resources argues that there are “many genders beyond just male and female” and that “gender can be fluid and limitless”.
In relation to being transgender, the Gender Questioning booklet goes on to argue that trans people “have the same range of sexual orientations as the rest of the population and so could be lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, straight or something else”.
As to what “something else” might refer to is left unanswered but the booklet goes on to tell students that there “are no limitations on what your gender and identity can be”. For those students wanting to undergo a gender transition process another booklet tells teachers, “It may be possible to consider a student a mature minor and able to make decisions without parental consent”.
For those students who have undergone gender transition, with or without parental consent, the booklet titled Guide To Supporting A Student To Affirm Or Transition Gender Identity At School argues that sporting activities should not be segregated “on the basis of sex or gender identity”.
The above booklet goes on to argue that schools should permit transgender students to use the “toilets, changing rooms, showers and swimming facilities based on the student’s gender identity and the facilities they will feel most comfortable with”.
The Safe Schools All Of Us lesson plans for years 7 and 8 best illustrates how lacking in balance the program is. Under Program Aims the statement is made that the intention is to “create a school environment that recognises and celebrates the diversity of each person’s unique sexuality, gender identity or intersex status”.
Not unsurprisingly, nowhere in the booklet or in any other of the material examined is there anything positive said about heterosexuality. While the Safe Schools Coalition program seeks to promote tolerance and respect for diversity those students identifying as heterosexual are made to feel guilty and uncomfortable.
Lesson 4 of the All of Us booklet also presents a very stereotyped and misleading view of what it means to be male or female. Teachers are told that they should describe boys as being tough and not crying, wanting to watch action films and enjoying play fighting and wrestling.
Being female, on the other hand, involves cooking, enjoying shopping, wearing makeup, gossiping and enjoying dancing. Such a portrayal is simplistic and out of date in 21st century Australia where how men and women relate has become more complex and nuanced.
The La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society is one of the principal supporters of the Safe Schools Coalition and late last year released a new resource titled The Practical Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships.
Similar to the Safe Schools Program the new material advocates a strong LGBTQI agenda. Directed at Years 7 to 10 students the material argues that society enforces gendered expectations (heterosexuality) that impact negatively on boys and girls.
Relationships and gender expectations between men and women are always negative while LGBTQI relationships are presented as always positive and beyond criticism.
One of the activities titled Freedom Fighters asks students to role play a situation where Martians invade and enforce a destructive binary code — where boys are boys and girls are girls. Students are then asked to be freedom fighters where the ‘male’ hero sings:
You don’t have to be a certain way just because you have a penis
You don’t have to be a certain way just because you have a vagina
We’re not gonna care about that
We’re gonna do what we wanna do
We’re gonna be who we wanna be
I’m gonna lead you guys to victory and then I’m gonna go home and enjoy my collection of vintage dolls
Because we’re free, damn it
And they may take our penises
They may take our vaginas
But they will never take our freedom!
Source: KEVIN DONNELLY – THE AUSTRALIAN – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/lgbtqi-schools-program-needs-investigating/news-story/c070804e2efbd8710a3cbd530e4e8f01
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and he co-chaired the Review of the Australian National Curriculum.Share