The lack of transparency
Once the media reported on the Do Opposites Really Attract? resource, it was removed from the NSW Department of Education. This is standard practice every time concerns are raised about Safe Schools and other programmes.
Parents of children in Victorian government schools will not have a choice.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that from 2018, Safe Schools will be compulsory in every Victorian Government secondary school.
Parents will not have an ability to have their children opt-out of the program.
In certain states, parents are not notified if their school is using “Safe Schools.”
The Department of Education of each state and territory can make its own decision about whether parents should consent or even be notified about whether Safe Schools is in their child’s school. At the moment, the Departments of Education in NSW and Queensland refuse to even publish a list of “safe” schools.
From the Safe Schools website:
See the list of NSW schools which the Department of Education doesn’t want you to see. You will notice that it includes many primary schools, even though Safe Schools is supposed to only be offered in high schools.
It’s not just the content or the list of schools which is being hidden from parents, it is also information about who is behind the program.
Compare the “Creators” page from the original Safe Schools resource to that which was re-released after the Federal Government review of the program. You will notice that the names of its authors, including Roz Ward and Joel Radcliffe (both of whom suggested principals ignore concerned parents) have been removed.
If Safe Schools was really “safe,” why is so much being hidden from parents?
In this video, concerned parent Steve describes how his permission was sought for the children to watch a film about autism, but not about LGBTI issues.
– Steve’s story
Safe Schools creators actually instruct principals to ignore the concerns of parents.
– Authors of Safe Schools program, Roz Ward and Joel Radcliffe
“A Safe Schools national symposium was told by the program’s Victorian co-ordinator, Roz Ward, that schools could ignore concerns raised about the agenda. “When people do complain then school leadership can very calmly and graciously say, ‘You know what? We’re doing it anyway, tough luck’!” she told more than 300 attendees.
“Safe Schools project manager Joel Radcliffe, a fellow academic at La Trobe University, which spawned the program, told the audience that the issue of parental concern came up a lot when considering whether to join the program. “Parents... seem to have a lot of power (in) schools,” he said. “Parents don’t have the power to shut this down.””
The Australian, 22 March 2016
In other countries which have legalised same-sex marriage, education has quickly moved from “tolerance” to “compliance”
In Canada, teachers are required not only to teach the material, but to ensure compliance with the ideology underpinning it. In Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario Schools: Guidelines for Policy Development and Implementation, teachers are instructed to not only teach the class, but to “assume responsibility for examining and taking steps to modify personal beliefs and biases that are inconsistent with equity and inclusive education principles.”
What begins as a “tolerance” initiative very quickly moves to a program of “intolerance.”
At this very moment in Canada, parent Steve Tourloukis is waiting to hear whether he has a right to have advance notice of the lessons in which his children will be exposed to this type of material, so that he might ask for the children to “opt-out” of the class. The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is rejecting his request, because, it says, the issues are embedded in all subject materials, and opting out of such classes would be inconsistent with the objective of being inclusive and accepting. Mr Tourloukis has been fighting this case for four years.
This resource is part of the Marriage Alliance Safe Schools Information Kit.