One of the key controversies around Safe Schools is whether parents should be able to opt-in to the program, rather than have their children being signed up automatically, not only without parental consent, but also without parental knowledge. A NSW parliamentary committee released a report two weeks ago stating that parents should be allowed to opt-in to this controversial program.
As reported in The Australian:
“The committee believes that schools must consult parents prior to the implementation of the Safe Schools program, and parents should have the ability to opt-in.”
But is this really the solution?
One of the characteristics of the Safe Schools program is that its creators encourage a “whole school” approach to its implementation, meaning that the Safe Schools material could be presented in any class or activity. Victorian mother Cella White removed her children from a “Safe School” after her son was told in science class that he could wear a dress to school.
Additionally, the Safe Schools website provides examples of how to bring LGBTI themes into every class:
An opt-in ability for parents will not work, because the gender ideology encouraged by Safe Schools is pervasive throughout the whole curriculum.
In NSW, schools can elect to take part in the program, but parents are not required to be notified by the school if it chooses to participate. Additionally, the NSW Department of Education and Training will not provide a list of schools which have made such an election, meaning that parents are kept in the dark about whether their children are being exposed to the Safe Schools ideology.
In Victoria, the program will be mandatory in all public schools from 2017, and is fully funded by the state government.
The revised federal guidelines on Safe Schools state: “Schools must seek agreement from the representative parent body (or equivalent) prior to signing up as a member of Safe Schools Coalition Australia.’’
But The Australian understands that where schools signed up to the coalition before the March changes, they do not need to go back and obtain the retrospective approval of parent bodies unless they plan to use the All of Us teaching resources.
An opt-in choice for parents is not the solution to limiting the influence of the dangerous Safe Schools program in our children’s lives. The nature of Safe Schools as an integrated program makes it practically impossible to remove a child from its influence once Safe Schools is established at a school. We will continue to advocate for the only real solution — a complete removal of Safe Schools from Australia’s educational system.