Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for a review of the Safe Schools LGBTI Program. The Safe Schools Program was launched in 2014. Its aim is to bring LGBTI awareness to school children. Also allowing all children to feel safe and accepted in school.
An independent review will be executed. Turnbull under scrutiny. Many believe he fell to the pressure of Liberal conservatives and the Australian Christian Lobby. The ACL stunted the program, claiming the government should be reconsidering their “rainbow ideology”.
According to Sydney Morning Herald, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi attacked the $8 million program. Bernardi created a “concerned Australian’s” petition. The petition accumulated 9500 signatures. Bernardi, along with Queensland MP George Christensen, Queensland Senator Jo Lindgren and Tasmanian MP Andrew Nikolic are a few that oppose the Safe Schools Program. Claiming that the content is not “age appropriate”. They also claim the program teaches children how to hide their penis’ and breasts.
Safe Schools Program director Sally Richardson defends the program. Richardson claims that the program targets high schools. She adds that if a primary school joins the cause, the content is filtered and age appropriate. Richardson defends the aim and agenda of the program, claiming children need to be secure and comfortable at school. The Greens Party, Labour Party, and the Education Union all stand firmly behind the program. They insist Turnbull buckled to conservative pressure.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews vocally expresses his disappointment in Turnbull’s call for a review of the Safe Schools Program. According to The Guardian, Andrews vented on social media. Andrews publicly explains how backward and counter-productive this political move was. Andrew’s accuses the Liberal party of not being offended by the program but claiming they are offended by the kids who need it. The Victorian Premier then attacks Bernardi, claiming he is uneducated on matters of love and acceptance. Another fire is shot at Turnbull and the government. Andrews insists this move is backward when necessary steps need to be taken forward.
South Australian Education Minister Susan Close joins the discussion. Close stresses the importance of the program, and how crucial it is to protect these children from feeling unsafe and vulnerable. Close claims the Safe Schools Program aims at preventing bullying and children to self-harm. Close concludes, for bullying to stop within schools, politicians need to stop and present the right example.