Safe Schools: ‘The Program That Refuses to Die’

Marriage_Alliance_Australia_Safe_Schools_are_back.jpgBack in April, NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes confirmed that the Safe Schools program was terminated in that state. In its stead, new anti-bullying initiatives were implemented, which Australians were assured did not entail any contested gender theories.

The removal of the program represented a huge success for the silent majority. As Victorian founder Roz Ward even admitted, it was not about bullying, but about “gender and sexual diversity”. 

However, this victory didn’t last long. Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Mark Latham, a former leader of the Labor Party, details the continual metempsychosis of the program

Four months later, the Daily Telegraph exposed the way in which education bureaucrats “had snuck the controversial course back into the NSW curriculum through sex education classes for Years 1-10”.

It was the program that refused to die.

Again, Minister Stokes vowed to kill it off, plus sideline the Safe Schools resurrection squad within his department…

Last week, teachers in South-West Sydney told me about the revival of Safe Schools under a new guise: the Child Protection syllabus taught in Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) courses.

Of course, the revised course has not been labelled as “sex education,” but deceptively marketed as a  “child protection” program. However, underneath the parent-friendly guise lies the same basic content: gender theory.

Students in Years 5 and 6 — so as young as 10 years of age — are being taught that, “Femininity and masculinity are not necessarily inherent categories that pre-exist in each individual.”

Children are encouraged to act “as agents in the construction and maintenance of gender categories”, moving beyond “gender as binarisms” (that is, a choice between being male and female).

As a result, “the dominant social order” may be “resisted” — an echo of Ward’s radical political message. 

Not only does the new program encourage gender diversity, but it incorporates Ward’s signature mark: radical Marxist thought. The program does through subtle activities undermining the parent-child relationship, making room for state control of families.

Students are then required to complete a classroom exercise, where they bring in “a collection of birthday cards they and their siblings have received over the years.”

Even though teachers are required to display the male and female cards on separate boards, they must “avoid using labels such as ‘boys’ cards’ or ‘girls’ pictures’.”

This is another crazy “de-gendering” of language.

The exercise also seeks to undermine family life.

Students are encouraged to challenge the cards’ depiction of “how you live your life as a girl or a boy”.

Then they are asked to “better describe the way you really are” — a rebuff to loving parents and the type of birthday cards they have given their children.

This too is part of the Safe Schools agenda: attacking the nuclear family for its role in providing social stability and the “smooth … operation of capitalism”.

But, the most glaring inconsistency of all? Despite being advertised as a ‘child safeguarding’, there is little to no content focused on protecting children.

Although Minister Rob Stokes meant well when he tried to revoke the Safe Schools program, he underestimated how little control elected officials have over the bureaucrats notionally under their control. These programs have been hijacked by a small but loud minority with an agenda.

As Latham states so succinctly, it’s “the program that refused to die.”

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