Daily Telegraph 17 Oct 2012 – Miranda Devine
NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli says the government is committed to stamping out homophobic bullying in schools, but his department won’t approve teaching material aimed at stamping out “heterosexism”. It comes after it was revealed that students at 12 NSW high schools are being taught it is wrong and “heterosexist” to regard heterosexuality as the norm for relationships. The “Proud Schools” pilot program, implemented in 12 government schools in Sydney and the Hunter, is designed to stamp out “homophobia, transphobia (fear of transsexuals) and heterosexism”. Teachers are given professional development to learn to identify and stamp out any instances of “heterosexist” language in the playground, such as “that’s so gay”. But at least 10 Liberal MPs are “extremely concerned” about the program, and will complain to Education Minister Adrian Piccoli this week/
….From 175 pages of material, including a Proud Schools consultation report produced by Family Planning NSW and in minutes of meetings of the Proud Schools Steering Committee, a disturbing picture emerges of a program that appears designed more for indoctrination and propaganda than to eliminate bullying. In Victoria a similar program, the “Safe Schools Coalition” to “support sexual diversity” in schools, holds that gender and sexuality are not fixed but fluid concepts. Students are taught not to think about gender and sexuality in a “binary” way, as in male/female or gay/ straight, but as part of a continuum of choices. What are pubescent children supposed to make of that? The assumptions which underpin the Proud Schools program seem questionable, at best. For one thing, a position paper produced for the project by Latrobe University claims there is “strong evidence in 2011 that approximately one in 10 young people are sexually attracted to people of their own sex, or are unsure”. It also quotes another figure of “between 7 and 9 per cent” who are same-sex attracted. This paints a picture at odds with figures around the world which put homosexuality at 2-3 percent of the population.
…Over the past seven years The Daily Telegraph’s education reporter Bruce McDougall has been monitoring NSW Education Department safety and security incident reports of violence and other problems at schools. He has not seen one report relating to homophobia. Yes, bullying and violence occurs at schools and every effort should be made to prevent it. But it does not primarily relate to sexuality, and false claims that it does could promote a backlash or even send the message that bullying for other reasons is not as bad. The report also described as “worryingly simplistic” and “out of line with contemporary ideas of sexuality” the question raised by some teachers and students of whether people are “born that way or exercise choice with respect to same sex attraction or gender diversity”. The contemporary view, according to the report is: “Spectrums of attraction and complex interactions with the social world influence sexual and gender identity.” Whatever. It’s not up to academics to dictate attitudes to society via indoctrination of captive children in classrooms, and it’s irresponsible of politicians to allow them to do so. Parents expect their children to go to school to learn basic skills, and become socialised. They expect a safe environment in which everyone is treated with respect and without bullying. But they also don’t expect that their values should be subverted by homosexual or any other propaganda. And they don’t expect that widespread acceptance of heterosexuality as the most common human experience would be demonised.