If you are unhappy with the Safe Schools Coalition Australia program or any other aspect of the PDHPE curriculum there are a number of actions you can take.
Directives from the Department of Education’s policy: About sexuality and sexual health education in NSW government schools, clearly state that, ‘parents have a right to know what their child is being taught in the PDHPE curriculum and that parents have the right to withdraw their child from lessons they feel are inappropriate’. Each student also has the right to withdraw from any lesson they find inappropriate.
Parents can make an appointment to speak with the Head of the PDHPE department and raise their concerns so that these issues can be addressed by the school. It is recommended that parents document all of the discussion points that they raise, and that they request a written response within a reasonable time frame from the school authority addressing their concerns. You can attend this meeting on your own, with another parent or an advocate acting on your behalf.
If you are dissatisfied with the response you meet at this level, then you have the right to request an appointment with the school principal. Again, we suggest that the parent documents their concerns in a written letter and they request a written response be provided in reasonable time from the school. Again, you can attend this meeting on your own, with another parent or a support person.
It is also possible to raise your concerns at a school P & C meeting. It is suggested that you attend with other parents so that the views of many parents are heard.
If you’re concerned about the roll-out of the Safe Schools Coalition program in your school, here are some sample letters you are welcome to copy and send to your school Principal.
I am writing in regards to the Safe Schools Coalition which has been funded by the Federal Government for 8 million dollars to be introduced into Australian Schools. I am very concerned about the program and what it aims to do in our schools, primary as well as high schools. It aims to influence the hearts and minds of our young people on an issue which is controversial and as a parent I object to this indoctrination of our children.
Please look into the ‘Resources’ section of this program and you will see why I am concerned.
As a parent and as a teacher, I would like to say that the Safe Schools Coalition program should not be in our schools.
The aim of the program is to prevent homophobic bullying and to make schools safe for homosexual young people. Our schools are already doing a good job in trying to prevent bullying and dealing with bullying. There are many kinds of bullying that take place in schools and homophobic bullying is not the main one. Therefore, introducing a program that focuses solely on homophobic bullying is unfair on other students that are bullied.
The current NSW syllabus deals with this issue appropriately and there is no need for a specific program like the Safe Schools Coalition program which is heavily biased and organised by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria. If schools want an extra anti-bullying program it should be one that deals with all kinds of bullying and it should be designed by a politically neutral, health focused and objective organisation.
I object to our schools being used in the current political and social debate about same sex marriage. The use of the Safe Schools Coalition program in schools is doing that. Look at what happened recently at Burwood Girls High. The Safe Schools Coalition program advises schools to hold yearly “Wear it Purple Days” and as part of the ‘celebrations’ to screen films for the whole school, like ‘Gayby Babies’.
Same sex marriage is debated in the community and is controversial and, therefore, should not be part of the school agenda. The introduction of the Safe Schools Coalition program in schools means that our children will be influenced by one side of the debate.
This is, in effect, politicising schools and we, as parents, are strongly opposed to this.
I would like to express to you how concerned I am about the Safe Schools Coalition which is being introduced into our schools.
I have looked into the Resources of the program and I feel that it inappropriately sexualises the classrooms. The resources do not just deal with homophobic bullying, it is more about young people talking about their sexuality and their homosexual attractions and how they ‘came out’. So in this way the program promotes, celebrates and affirms sexuality and in particular, homosexual relations.
I do not think schools are the appropriate place for these personal testimonies.
As a parent and as a teacher I object to the strategies of the Safe Schools Coalition which is being introduced into our schools with Federal Government funding.
Under the name of ‘celebrating diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ the homosexual agenda becomes part of a whole school approach on this controversial issue. Teachers are required to be monitored as to whether they incorporate homosexual themes in their units of work and in all subject areas. Executive teachers are instructed to keep a register of how the school responds to instances of homophobic bullying and to audit teacher and student opinions on homosexuality and homophobia. Students are told to feel safe about ‘reporting’ incidents.
These kind of strategies seem to me to suggest ‘policing’ of schools, staff and students to make sure that they are not just behaving ‘correctly’ but thinking ‘correctly’ on this issue. This kind of ‘challenging’ is extremely concerning especially as the issue is controversial and there are many parents who do not agree that homosexual relations should be affirmed and promoted in schools, let alone ‘policed’.
As a parent I am very concerned about the Safe School Coalition program and how it encourages schools to support transgender children.
It seems to me that the science and research around this topic is not conclusive and, therefore, it is dangerous to be taking one side of the issue so wholeheartedly. Schools should be much more cautious than what is suggested by the Safe Schools Coalition.
The Safe Schools Coalition program includes a video called “Pronouns” which recommends the use of new pronouns to address transgender youth, like ‘they’, ‘ey’ and ‘zey’. By doing this they are legitimising this behaviour, and by legitimising this behaviour they may be encouraging these young people to decide to undertake surgery and hormone treatments that could affect their physical and psychological health in the long term and perhaps permanently.
I think that this is very dangerous for schools to be doing this.
I am writing to you about the introduction of the Safe Schools Coalition program in schools.
The way I see it, schools can either adopt a conservative or radical approach to dealing with same sex and transgender issues in our community. If schools adopt a radical approach then their aim is to change the thinking and behaviour of people regarding these issues through education. If schools adopt a conservative approach then students will be allowed to decide for themselves as to their position on these issues.
The Safe Schools Coalition adopts a radical approach and so we should question whether schools should be using it. I think most parents, even if they support same sex marriage will not feel comfortable with a radical approach. They would prefer to discuss these issues at home and would not like the school to take a position or influence their child either way.
The Safe Schools Coalition says that they use this approach because of homophobic bullying but as far as I can see I don’t think homophobic bullying is so prevalent and all-encompassing that it justifies our schools adopting such a radical approach. As far as I can see schools do a good job in tackling all kinds of bullying.
I ask you, as my elected representative, to express my concerns and the concerns of many other parents about the ‘radical’ agenda of the Safe Schools Coalition and remove it from our schools so that children can be free to make up their own mind and develop their own approach to these issues.
As a parent I would like to express my concern about the Safe Schools Coalition and its possible impact on young people.
The resources, videos, personal stories and testimonies in the program can affect young people at a vulnerable time and influence them to make decisions that can have lasting impacts on them physically and psychologically.
They can be led to believe, through the Safe Schools Coalition, that their attractions and sexual orientations are fixed and binding and this can lead to unnecessary confusion, distress and harm.
Schools are not the appropriate place to make available these booklets and videos, nor is it the appropriate forum to explore these issues.
I am writing to you because I am very concerned about a school program run by the ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ aimed at both primary and high school students. Although this program is not currently implemented at__________________, I am concerned that many parents and members of the community are unaware of the controversial nature of this program:
This program reinforces:
- The promotion of school activities that would single out or ostracise religious and/or socially conservative students.
- A politicisation of the school environment with lobbying campaigns and one-sided messages on complex and controversial issues.
I have attached examples of some of the materials used in this program for your information.
I am seeking your assurance that this program will not be implemented in our local schools.
I am very concerned about the teaching resources the “Safe Schools Coalition” plans to distribute and to implement at various schools in NSW.
As a parent in the local area, I want to bring to your attention the fact that the content of this program is both controversial and is often implemented in schools without parents having a clear understanding of what it entails.
The materials presented to students are strongly biased against traditional perspectives on gender and sexuality and will ostracise any student who does not share the same view. Furthermore, this program aims at politicising our schools and encourages students to take part in “marriage equality” rallies.
I ask for your support in ensuring that this program will not be implemented in our local schools.
My concerns about the “Safe Schools” program that has been implemented in several schools in NSW has caused be to write this letter.
The Safe Schools Coalition provides schools with resources and teaching materials to support students who identify as anything other than heterosexual. However, on closer inspection, these materials have a distinct bias toward traditional ideas on gender and these materials are clearly politically motivated.
My concerns rest upon the following points:
- The teaching materials sexualise classes with one-sided messages promoting homosexuality, bi-sexuality, transgenderism, while excluding other viewpoints.
- The politicisation of the school environment with lobbying campaigns and one-sided messages on political and controversial issues.
I request your support to ensure that this program is not implemented in our local schools.