A small group of MPs calling themselves the “Cross Party Rainbow Parliamentary Network” have written to the Minister of Education in an attempt to use school bullying as a means to promote gender identity and sexuality issues. (This was the same agenda being pushed in Australia with the highly controversial Safe Schools programme which has now been exposed.)
The “Network” wants the Minister to introduce “LGBTI student safety and wellbeing” as a National Evaluation Topic that schools are assessed on, and that the Ministry should “…expect schools to specifically provide for LGBTI students...” (our emphasis added).
It is significant that they only express concern for the safety and wellbeing of “LGBTI” students, but not all students who also deserve to experience safety and wellbeing while at school.
As with all parents, we believe bullying in schools is an important issue and must be tackled, but there are significant concerns with the narrow focus being pushed by this small group of MPs.
Bullying-in-school programmes should target all forms of bullying. The approach that the Parliamentary Network wants is not inclusive, it is exclusive. They only focus on a very small group of students. This is not the best way to deal with bullying and mental health issues experienced by all school students. Schools are keen to deal with the bullying issue but they are taking a full school community approach.
The Parliamentary Network also ignores the far greater proportion of students who are bullied for the more common reasons of body image, racial background, disabilities, and academic success or failure, and of course the major prevalence of cyber-bullying.
Unfortunately overweight students, students with acne or a speech impediment or a physical disability, or who are struggling academically, or students from a different culture don’t have a ‘lobby group’ or ‘cross party parliamentary network’. Yet depression and suicide are also associated with these types of bullying.
While some politicians are obsessed with so-called ‘homophobia’ and ‘transphobia’, schools and students and parents want the focus to be on all students who are bullied, for whatever reason, and who deserve support and protection.
Anti-bullying programs that do work place the focus on zero tolerance for any reason, and target the bully.
TAKE ACTION: Check what anti-bullying programmes are being run in your child’s school to ensure that
* all victims of bullying are being kept safe,
* all bullies are receiving the direction and support they need to stop bullying, and
* the ‘gender identity’ and sexual diversity agenda is not being disguised as an ‘anti-bullying’ programme