#1028 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 1 Feb 2015
There is growing alarm among parents over a so-called “anti-bullying program” claiming to make schools “safer and more inclusive” for “same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse” students.
The Safe Schools Coalition Australia program, which will receive $8 million in federal funding over four years, fails to address problems experienced by children who are bullied because of body shape, school grades, race or ethnic background, religious belief or family income.
Sexual orientation does not even rate among the top seven causes of bullying, according to lobby group Family Voice Australia. They say most teens who experience same-sex attraction naturally grow out of it, and should not be led to believe adolescent attractions are necessarily fixed or permanent.
All students deserve a safe school environment, but the Safe Schools Coalition program is not the best way to achieve it. The Abbott government should consider cancelling the remaining funding and supporting programs that address all school bullying.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.