Some of the concerns we at All Kids Matter have mentioned previously seem to be being confirmed this week.

Out of all the responses we have received to our simple yellow flyer, two-fifths have been positive. One- fifth has been regular enquiries from people who had never heard of Safe Schools. Another fifth has been negative and containing some nasty and unprintable name-calling, and the final fifth has been a barrage of sign-ups to gay porn websites, fetish clubs, etc all done on our behalf and without our permission – and wow, do those sites know how to sink your Inbox with a stream of XXX-related material.

Some of those who shout for tolerance have shown the greatest intolerance towards us even though we want the very best for all children – yes, all children. Isn’t it common sense that educational resources need to be the best and most accurate possible, especially when touching on aspects of minors’ social and sexual development? Shouldn’t every government and political party hold this view?

We care about all kids receiving appropriate material at the appropriate time of their development.

We care about all school students receiving honest and scientific information that will help them to be as fully-informed as possible through the tender years of child and teen development.

We care about all our kids learning respect, tolerance and compassion for all those around them whatever their feelings, their differences, and their circumstances.

And we seriously care about a reduction of bullying in our schools, especially the ever-increasing cyber-bullying.

All we have done is to carefully note the contents of the Safe Schools’ review completed by an eminent national academic and child protection expert, Professor Patrick Parkinson, where his final words state that “there is reason to be concerned that [the Safe Schools program] may cause harm to other young people who experience same-sex attraction or gender confusion. This is not good enough for an educational resource.”[1] In challenging a poor educational resource, we then get cyber-bullied with grossly worded assumptions about our political leanings, our sexual attractions, our level of ability to reason, as well as being mailed a stream of pornographic links. All of this and yet:

  • we believe in the best educational materials for everychild, hence the name All Kids Matter
  • we deliberately chose rainbow hands to signify our allegiance with all children in WA, irrespective of their beliefs, cultures, sexual attraction, political persuasion, gender identity, age or ethnicity, etc
  • we have listened carefully to the lived experiences and concerns of teachers, parents and students from the Eastern states who have firsthand experience of Safe Schools in their public schools
  • we have grave concerns that a program promoted to schools as being anti-bullying has in fact created a different type of bullying. When differences of opinion have been expressed which question or challenge the gender and sexual diversity “facts” contained within Safe Schools materials, the students opposing these facts have reported being bullied for merely having a difference of opinion
  • we are concerned that freedom of speech, a quality sewn into the fabric of Australian society, is being rapidly eroded with differences of opinion no longer being respected

Education is a priceless gift to WA and to Australia as a whole. If we form this present school generation with incorrect information, then what will they pass on to the generations that follow? Few people, if anybody, wins in this situation.

For the sake of all kids in WA: think very carefully – and vote wisely on 11 March.

NOTES:

  1. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2839084