Do parents have the primary responsibility for raising their children? Not according to the founders of the so-called ‘Safe Schools’ program. Safe Schools Coalition Program co-author Joel Radcliffe proclaimed, “parents don’t have the power to shut this down”. The truth is parents did have that power – because of it the NSW government has scrapped the program.
Tasmania will also discontinue the program. Concerningly though, Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff has hand-balled part of the ‘new’ replacement program to Working it Out, the same organisation currently running Safe Schools in Tasmania. What’s all the concern about? Its Marxist foundations.
Roz Ward, one of SSCP’s architects, is an avowed Marxist whose ideological goals within the SSCP have been widely exposed. Friedrich Engels, who co-founded Marxist theory, described a socialist society as one where: “The care and education of the children becomes a public affair.” He believed that, with no ties to family (and social/moral restrictions), girls will be free to “bring about the gradual growth of unconstrained sexual intercourse.”
Roz Ward agrees: “Marxism offers both the hope and the strategy needed to create a world where human sexuality, gender and how we relate to our bodies can blossom in extraordinary new and amazing ways that we can only try to imagine today”.
Part of the ‘strategy’ appears to be usurping parental authority: “Some students’…access to the internet [to view SSCP websites]…is monitored by their family so having access at school is really important”. Advice is also given to students on how to hide their browser history.
Of course LGBTI students need support in dealing with bullying at school – all students do. Yet Roz Ward freely admits on video that the SSCP is “not about stopping bullying” but about entrenching her views on sexuality and gender.
The content of the program is extremely contested. It includes: teaching against heteronormality (that heterosexuality is normal); teaching that gender has nothing to do with biology; encouraging sexual experimentation and for children to ‘come out’ and celebrate their true sexual and gender identity; online content originally offered links to adult-only shops; encouraging schools to allow cross-dressing, participation in homosexual marriage rallies, and for students to be able to use the toilet of choice. The list goes on.
The potential harm to children is real. Since the SSCP arrived in force there has been a huge escalation in children presenting with gender dysphoria (those that feel they were born with the wrong body).
Statistics show that a significant proportion of young people who feel they are LGBT will not be by adulthood. Ironically ‘safe schools’ is very quick to label and encourage children to lock into an identity – often with dangerous consequences. A 2016 Quadrant article by Paediatrician Dr John Whitehall highlighted the drastic effects hormonal intervention can have on the developing brains of children with gender dysphoria.
As parents we put a huge amount of trust in governments to scrutinise those inputting into the lives of our children through public education. The safe schools ‘experiment’ is a sad case of lack of due diligence on the part of government. My question is – have we learnt anything from it? If we don’t acknowledge the mistakes we are very likely to repeat them.
- Mark Brown is the Australian Christian Lobby Tasmanian director