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  #21  
Old 12th March 2016, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

Why Safe Schools program must be kept
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Coming out in high school can be agonising at the best of times. The first step for me involved confronting the fear of being cast out by my mates or bullied by my peers, which is often part of the territory when you're a 16-year-old kid and suddenly viewed as "different".
The second step was just as hard: mustering the courage to tell my staunchly Catholic mother, convinced she'd either disown me immediately or frogmarch me to the nearest church in a futile bid to "pray away the gay". Fortunately, neither scenario eventuated.
Yet for all the angst that underpinned those years, I was relatively lucky. I was never bashed on account of my sexuality, although that's not to say nobody threatened to try. I wasn't kicked out of home because my family refused to accept who I was, although genuine acceptance probably took longer than I would have liked.
And despite a homophobic remark here and there, I can't recall copping it in spades – and it certainly wasn't the kind of vitriol we've seen in recent weeks as the hysteria over the Safe Schools program reached offensive new heights, giving us a sample of what's in store as we head towards a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
...
The fact is, the Safe Schools program was not pushed onto schools as some kind of "gay agenda." It's a series of resources designed to give teachers practical ideas to help students with a specific set of challenges, and it was introduced in Victoria six years ago under the Brumby Labor government because schools actually asked for it.
What's more, the program continued to receive bipartisan funding and support – at least until Malcolm Turnbull initiated a review a few weeks ago at the behest of right-wing forces within his ranks. Now its future looks unclear.
Cast your mind back to 2010, four years before the Safe Schools initiative was rolled out nationally under the federal Coalition. Victorian schools had become increasingly aware that some students were gay or gender diverse, and wanted to know how best to support them.
Around the same time, La Trobe University had conducted a national study of same-sex-attracted youths which found a staggering 75 per cent had been physically assaulted or verbally abused. The majority of the homophobic attacks – eight in ten – had taken place within the school community.
...
Yet six years later, here we are: questioning the value of the program designed to give students an environment where they can thrive without being stigmatised and bullied, largely because of a culture war within the Liberal Party and an attempt by religious extremists to use the issue as a stalking horse for a broader debate on marriage equality.
There's nothing wrong with taxpayer-funded programs being reviewed to ensure they meet their intended aims, but anyone using Safe Schools to muddy the waters should consider this: every year, about 10,000 students drop out of schools in Victoria alone. Creating an inclusive environment – where children aren't targeted or misunderstood – is central to students remaining engaged in education. It's not rocket science.
Since starting in Victoria in 2010, the Safe Schools Coalition has grown from 11 founding schools to 251 across the state, and more than 500 nationwide. Gay and lesbian students have told The Sunday Age they felt more comfortable simply because their school had signed up. Some principals reported that since joining, homophobic language in the classroom (even less inflammatory phrases like "that's so gay") had all but disappeared. And parental engagement is encouraged – in fact, 16 per cent of schools in Victoria got involved at the request of parents.
Emphasis mine. So, if the program has had 6 years of bipartisan support and funding... does that mean that the LNP supported a program, apparently without moving to check all of the claimed issues they now want reviewed, prior to supporting and funding it?

They're tacitly admitting that they failed in their own duties of good governance? Whoops...
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Last edited by Logic please; 12th March 2016 at 10:37 PM.
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  #22  
Old 16th March 2016, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

Conservative MPs angry after Safe Schools review finds program should not be scrapped

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The review of the controversial Safe Schools program recommends several changes but does not call for the program to be scrapped or defunded ...
Some of the few sensible voices left in the Coalition on this issue -

Quote:
Liberal backbencher Ewen Jones, a supporter of Safe Schools, said the program would continue to be divisive in the Coalition party room.

"Those people who believe that it's a bad program weren't convinced by what the professor had to say," he told Fairfax Media. "Those people who believe that giving teachers the information they require to make their own judgments were happy with what the professor was saying."



Warren Entsch, one of the Coalition's leading LGBTI advocates, said: "The good professor didn't confirm some of the nonsense people have been saying about the program so now they are shooting the messenger.

"Nothing would placate the usual suspects … Some of the hysteria around this shows a clear lack of understanding about the issues some of our children face. This is not about teaching or coaching kids to be gay.”

"There are schools where children need support and they need resources to help them. There is nothing in the program that is compulsory."
Now, from those “usual suspects” -

Quote:
Conservative opponents of Safe Schools have quickly gone on the attack, branding the review by University of Western Australia Emeritus Professor Bill Louden as a "joke", a "stitch up" and a "fraud".

… Others went further. One MP reportedly described the program as a "gateway drug" and Professor Louden's review as a "stitch up". And one MP told the ABC the review was a "fraud" and called on Education Minister Simon Birmingham to either "fix this or resign".
There is a video of one of the key usual suspects, Eric Abetz, condemning the review at the link.

Meanwhile, Victoria is standing up:

VIC Government Will Fund Safe Schools No Matter What, Premier Daniel Andrews Says

Statement released by the Premier of Victoria on social media -

Quote:
Well, the bad news is that the Liberals are still on the warpath about Safe Schools, a brilliantly effective program designed to stamp out bullying, not pile it on.

But, there is some good news.

If the Turnbull Government decides to cut the funding for this program, I'm proud to announce that the Victorian Government will make up the shortfall.

We'll lock that funding in at a state level - because if it saves just one life, it's worth it.

Safe Schools is officially saved in Victoria, and it will have a place in our schools long after Cory Bernardi and the rest of his dinosaurs eventually disappear from the Senate.
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Last edited by Blue Lightning; 16th March 2016 at 03:42 PM.
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  #23  
Old 17th March 2016, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

George Christensen accuses Safe Schools advocate of promoting paedophilia
Queensland MP levels accusation at university professor Gary Dowsett as Coalition MPs step up attack on anti-bullying initiatives for LGBTI students


Quote:
One of parliament’s biggest opponents of the Safe Schools program, Queensland MP George Christensen, has accused a professor linked to the anti-bullying program of being an advocate of paedophilia.

Christensen used parliamentary privilege to level the accusation at Gary Dowsett, deputy director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University.

...


Meanwhile, away from the dinosaurs -

Quote:
... La Trobe University put out a statement backing {Professor} Dowsett late on Wednesday evening.

“We are appalled that a respected academic has been attacked using parliamentary privilege. This is a blatant attempt to distract attention from the independent endorsement of the highly effective Safe Schools program,” a university spokesman said. “We stand by the important work of Professor Dowsett and his team.”



The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, vowed to continue funding the program at a state level if federal funding is pulled.

“If it saves just one life, it’s worth it,” Andrews wrote on his Facebook page ...
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  #24  
Old 17th March 2016, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

Dan's kicking some goals here in Victoria. Nice to see a politician that has their head screwed on right for a change.


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  #25  
Old 17th March 2016, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

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Queensland MP George Christensen, has accused a professor linked to the anti-bullying program of being an advocate of paedophilia.
Parliamentary privilege is there for a particular reason, it's fairly important, and fairly narrow, once you start using parliamentary privilege to shelter yourself from the fallout of slanderous attacks, specially ones as serious as paedophilia, you have stepped outside the bounds of that privilege. Unfortunately there is no set response for that behaviour, but a proper response by the prime minister and speaker should be to immediately kick the bugger out of the parliamentary umbrella.

But I bet they do exactly nothing!
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  #26  
Old 17th March 2016, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

You're right to emphasise the role and importance of Parliamentary privilege.

Ultimately, only the House itself can deal with abuses of privilege committed in the House.

With the House constituted as it presently is, I suspect that your last sentence will also be proved correct, SB.
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Last edited by Blue Lightning; 17th March 2016 at 11:24 AM.
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  #27  
Old 17th March 2016, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

Lenore Taylor in The Guardian -

Caving in to the right on Safe Schools could undermine Turnbull's greatest asset
The prime minister faces a backroom insurrection over the Safe Schools program, but any action other than to stare it down could cripple the leader


Quote:
... {Conservative Coalition MPs see Safe Schools} as “indoctrination” (unlike, apparently, the $240m school chaplaincy scheme), as “social engineering” and being somehow linked to paedophilia, and also to a “Marxist agenda” and “the sexual liberation of young people”, which is, in their view, also a very bad thing. They want it defunded, because apparently if students are not taught tolerance and understanding regarding gender issues, they’ll go away. Or, as Christensen suggests, gay teenagers could just choose to ignore their sexuality.

... when a leader is confronted by a rebellion motivated by an ideological agenda apparently incompatible with their own, a blatant and wilful misinterpretation of facts and an obvious parallel agenda of undermining their authority, they really have no choice but to take a stand.

Alongside these ideological objections to the program is an obvious political aim. To undermine Turnbull. To cripple his leadership authority. To stop him governing in his own voice. Turnbull’s political capacity has already been drained by concessions to the right on issues such as marriage equality and climate change.

The conservative MPs’ views are obviously contrary to the prime minister’s and to those of his education minister, Simon Birmingham. If they succeed in forcing Turnbull to back down once again – using a “petition” to convince him to set up a parliamentary inquiry to give every critic a platform to broadcast their inflammatory claims – the prime minister will appear compromised and weak. If they don’t succeed, they’ll keep running the insurgency campaign, backed by the christian lobby and conservative columnists, leaving his government looking divided and chaotic.

… {Turnbull's} greatest weapon in regaining the leadership was his popularity, as measured in opinion polls. And his popularity was based on a perception that he was a centrist, a different kind of politician, a man true to his convictions.

It is still unclear how he will deal with the rightwing push this time ...

Caving in to the right this time would further undermine what was at the outset the prime minister’s greatest asset. It would set a terrible precedent for the conduct of the marriage equality plebiscite, another conservative-inspired policy forced upon Turnbull despite his previous public objections. And if Turnbull has to govern at the whim of the conservative wing of his party, the religious right and the opinions of News Corp columnists, what would be the point of it?
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  #28  
Old 17th March 2016, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

Story in the West this afternoon.

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Opponents to the Safe Schools program have approached Perth high school students, urging them to adhere to Christian values.

Mt Lawley Senior High School principal Milton Butcher said students were handed anti-Safe Schools leaflets on Wednesday morning as they arrived at school by two adults who refused to identify themselves.
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Old 17th March 2016, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

The ACL on Lateline, right now
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  #30  
Old 17th March 2016, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Safe schools program challenged by conservative MP's

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Blue Lightning said View Post
The ACL on Lateline, right now
Missed it. Off to iView. Any observations?

Here 'tis http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/conte...5/s4427237.htm
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