THE AUSTRALIAN: By Samantha Hutchinson and Stefanie Balogh. Safe Schools is under siege from Sydney’s Chinese community that argues the anti-bullying program excludes students from conservative ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Liberal MP Damien Tudehope yesterday submitted to NSW parliament a petition against the program signed by more than 17,000 members of Sydney’s Chinese-Australian community, calling for the program to be scrapped because it discriminates against parents and children who consider heterosexual relationships to be the norm.
NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said there were no immediate plans to change Safe Schools.
“It’s a commonwealth government initiative … They can change it if they want and we’ll abide by them,’’ he said.
Mr Piccoli said NSW was not “at this stage” considering a model for schools to opt in to the program, rather than opting out.
After Mr Tudehope’s speech, several Liberal MPs attacked the petition as incorrect and denied Safe Schools discriminated against other cultures.