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  1. #11
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    Hi all. I've read the programme. It is called the Safe Schools Coalition Australia and schools have to sign up for it (at this stage - although the Victorian government has ordered its school to sign on by next year or else) so the programme isn't nationwide. Essentially, it is a transgender/gay awareness programme passing itself off as an anti-bullying policy but from what I read, I found it to be clearly about gender deconstruction (or reconstruction, depending on how the content grabs you). Materials include posters, charts, role play exercises, classroom bookwork and directed conversations.

    Initially, it was for implementation in early childhood up but after a review where some consternation was raised by many groups and upheld, the government has now said it will only be implemented in high school. However, i believe that there are primary schools still running the programme as my course is primary education and we were told to read it so we could "utilise it in the classroom". Given that not every school wants this programme I found it a bit presumptive of the university to assume this. But there you go. That's how I ended up with it.

    Examples I can give you are thus:

    Roleplay for very small children about a complex issue like gender identity. Called the Gender Fairy, the exercise demands that half the class play their gender and the other half the opposite gender with the underlying principle being that "no one can tell you if you are a boy or a girl, only you can".

    Exercises include imagining the loss of your genitalia (gender assignment operation) and terminology such as 'ladies and gentleman' are to be replaced with gender neutral references such as "all of you" or "good evening everyone". Putting up posters and accessing websites for gay and transgender (adult) communities and to resist teaching staff if instructed not to.

    This theme is continued in other exercises such as directed class conversation exercises where boys who identify as girls are advised that they can use the girls' facilities which include toilets, showering areas, camping quarters. I could not find any references to safeguard sexual and physical safety of girls, particularly students who have survived trauma or who just feel uncomfortable about a boy wandering in their area. The overall feel was "get with the programme". Associated materials include boys in girls uniform with the underwritten directive that gender is not uniform. Girls who think they are boys are shown how to flatten their breasts whereas boys are shown, via illustration and roleplay how to tuck in their genitals and 'soften the look' of their hands. I'm kinda wondering how a minor is shown to manipulate his genitalia via roleplay. I'm curious about that one. Does the teacher have a solitary tutoring role or does the class join in or..? Anyway, I digress.

    The programme lists statistics regarding how many children it feels have gender dysphoria, a claim I was unable to find in any publication. I noticed too that several publications that were referred to have now been withdrawn from the public domain so, alas, I cannot produce the "How to support your child on their transgender journey" for you. But I did manage to find another similar document designed for use in the classroom and you can find that here. Bear in mind that this publication is for use in late primary and highschool classrooms.

    The programme can either be taught in lesson format or can be used as a resource.

    Its purpose is said to be anti-bullying.

    However, I feel it is anything but. My overriding concern was the intense focus on gender and this unshakeable feeling of being indoctrinated. While dissent was encouraged in students who identified as being LGTBI, to be outside this community and elicit the same expression was to suggest that you were part of the bullying crowd. I really resented that. To argue for one's rights does not make one a homophobe or anti-transgender. I also felt the emphasis on gender deconstruction disguised as an anti-bullying education was insulting and the assertion that gender fluidity was a reality was offensive. For a start, gender fluidity is not an established fact but a theory. I also felt the statistics to support various claims in the programme were wildly inflated. The LGBTI community is minute when counting their number against that of the entire population so claims of 20% of children being gay or transgender etc I found lacked credibility when I attempted to find written evidence that would sustain such a claim. What I did find was that it was closer to .1%. Yes, that's a decimal before the numeral. I then looked at the authors of the programme and was a little concerned to find that not only were they part of a gay focus group but that most were gay and some had some very pronounced political leanings. All had very little experience teaching the students they were writing for if at all. The lack of experience and overt bias surprised me.

    I am disappointed that a programme being promoted as an anti-bullying mechanism, to me, smacks of social engineering. While I totally understand and accept that there are some children out there who do have gender identity issues, it is not the norm nor should it be considered normal in terms of prevalence. I found a lot of the material age inappropriate and inaccurate and dismissive of the parental right to educate the child as they see fit.

    I do feel we need something like this in schools as there are children out there who do need support. But not like this. How this ever got past any review committee is astounding to me and as a parent I will be querying any school I enrol my child in as to whether they are part of the Safe School Coalition and if they are, my child will not be attending.
    Last edited by Mrs Tickle; 15-07-2016 at 19:06.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elijahs Mum View Post
    I disagree - I think 1st class ( 6 and 7 years olds) is the right time to start talking about it - girls are reaching puberty earlier, they all should be taught from a young age that same sex relationships are normal, what is appropriate touching and what is not , what feelings are normal to have etc - kids are exposed to so much more sex related topics on social media and tv than we ever were so it needs to be addressed earlier , I'm not talking about telling them all the gory intimate details first up but they need to know and I think that age is fine

    My friend works for child services and she goes into high schools giving talks on domestic violence which I said was a great idea but she says high school is too late, these kind of talks need to happen in primary school as this is when kids are learning bad behaviours and ideas , mainly from their parents and other adults

    I agree too. I know a few people who's young girls got their period at 9 and 10 years old. One of them had parents (like mine) who had talked to them, in an age appropriate way, about a range of sex education topics - she knew what was happening to her and was ok with it. The other had no idea and it was seriously traumatic. Kids are exposed to lots of things we may not have been exposed to at their age. They see more on TV than we would have.

    I think finding an age appropriate was to talk about sex education, appropriate touching, acceptable behaviour etc mixed in with talking about subjects that teach children not to discriminate against other people nice and early is great. Much better than learning what you can from playground gossip and finally getting around to sex ed classes when it's all too late.

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Tickle View Post
    Hi all. I've read the programme. It is called the Safe Schools Coalition Australia and schools have to sign up for it (at this stage - although the Victorian government has ordered its school to sign on by next year or else) so the programme isn't nationwide. Essentially, it is a transgender/gay awareness programme passing itself off as an anti-bullying policy but from what I read, I found it to be clearly about gender deconstruction (or reconstruction, depending on how the content grabs you). Materials include posters, charts, role play exercises, classroom bookwork and directed conversations.

    Initially, it was for implementation in early childhood up but after a review where some consternation was raised by many groups and upheld, the government has now said it will only be implemented in high school. However, i believe that there are primary schools still running the programme as my course is primary education and we were told to read it so we could "utilise it in the classroom". Given that not every school wants this programme I found it a bit presumptive of the university to assume this. But there you go. That's how I ended up with it.

    Examples I can give you are thus:

    Roleplay for very small children about a complex issue like gender identity. Called the Gender Fairy, the exercise demands that half the class play their gender and the other half the opposite gender with the underlying principle being that "no one can tell you if you are a boy or a girl, only you can".

    Exercises include imagining the loss of your genitalia (gender assignment operation) and terminology such as 'ladies and gentleman' are to be replaced with gender neutral references such as "all of you" or "good evening everyone". Putting up posters and accessing websites for gay and transgender (adult) communities and to resist teaching staff if instructed not to.

    This theme is continued in other exercises such as directed class conversation exercises where boys who identify as girls are advised that they can use the girls' facilities which include toilets, showering areas, camping quarters. I could not find any references to safeguard sexual and physical safety of girls, particularly students who have survived trauma or who just feel uncomfortable about a boy wandering in their area. The overall feel was "get with the programme". Associated materials include boys in girls uniform with the underwritten directive that gender is not uniform. Girls who think they are boys are shown how to flatten their breasts whereas boys are shown, via illustration and roleplay how to tuck in their genitals and 'soften the look' of their hands. I'm kinda wondering how a minor is shown to manipulate his genitalia via roleplay. I'm curious about that one. Does the teacher have a solitary tutoring role or does the class join in or..? Anyway, I digress.

    The programme lists statistics regarding how many children it feels have gender dysphoria, a claim I was unable to find in any publication. I noticed too that several publications that were referred to have now been withdrawn from the public domain so, alas, I cannot produce the "How to support your child on their transgender journey" for you. But I did manage to find another similar document designed for use in the classroom and you can find that here. Bear in mind that this publication is for use in late primary and highschool classrooms.

    The programme can either be taught in lesson format or can be used as a resource.

    Its purpose is said to be anti-bullying.

    However, I feel it is anything but. My overriding concern was the intense focus on gender and this unshakeable feeling of being indoctrinated. While dissent was encouraged in students who identified as being LGTBI, to be outside this community and elicit the same expression was to suggest that you were part of the bullying crowd. I really resented that. To argue for one's rights does not make one a homophobe or anti-transgender. I also felt the emphasis on gender deconstruction disguised as an anti-bullying education was insulting and the assertion that gender fluidity was a reality was offensive. For a start, gender fluidity is not an established fact but a theory. I also felt the statistics to support various claims in the programme were wildly inflated. The LGBTI community is minute when counting their number against that of the entire population so claims of 20% of children being gay or transgender etc I found lacked credibility when I attempted to find written evidence that would sustain such a claim. What I did find was that it was closer to .1%. Yes, that's a decimal before the numeral. I then looked at the authors of the programme and was a little concerned to find that not only were they part of a gay focus group but that most were gay and some had some very pronounced political leanings. All had very little experience teaching the students they were writing for if at all. The lack of experience and overt bias surprised me.

    I am disappointed that a programme being promoted as an anti-bullying mechanism, to me, smacks of social engineering. While I totally understand and accept that there are some children out there who do have gender identity issues, it is not the norm nor should it be considered normal in terms of prevalence. I found a lot of the material age inappropriate and inaccurate and dismissive of the parental right to educate the child as they see fit.

    I do feel we need something like this in schools as there are children out there who do need support. But not like this. How this ever got past any review committee is astounding to me and as a parent I will be querying any school I enrol my child in as to whether they are part of the Safe School Coalition and if they are, my child will not be attending.
    Wow.
    Thank you for this insight.
    I don't have time to address all the points tonight and i am ready to be burnt at the stake for this, but saying something is okay is not the same as saying something is normal. I would agree that the claims behind such a program sound wildly exaggerated and plain silly. Gender disphoria and transgenderism is not the norm.
    If it was normal, we wouldn't need classes saying it's okay.
    I'm all for gender and sexual equality and acceptance etc, but I wouldn't send my child to any school that says these extremes are a "normal" or healthy outlook.
    We're talking advanced gender philosophy and concepts/theories, not anti-bullying.
    What a joke.

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  7. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Tickle View Post
    Hi all. I've read the programme. It is called the Safe Schools Coalition Australia and schools have to sign up for it (at this stage - although the Victorian government has ordered its school to sign on by next year or else) so the programme isn't nationwide. Essentially, it is a transgender/gay awareness programme passing itself off as an anti-bullying policy but from what I read, I found it to be clearly about gender deconstruction (or reconstruction, depending on how the content grabs you). Materials include posters, charts, role play exercises, classroom bookwork and directed conversations.

    Initially, it was for implementation in early childhood up but after a review where some consternation was raised by many groups and upheld, the government has now said it will only be implemented in high school. However, i believe that there are primary schools still running the programme as my course is primary education and we were told to read it so we could "utilise it in the classroom". Given that not every school wants this programme I found it a bit presumptive of the university to assume this. But there you go. That's how I ended up with it.

    Examples I can give you are thus:

    Roleplay for very small children about a complex issue like gender identity. Called the Gender Fairy, the exercise demands that half the class play their gender and the other half the opposite gender with the underlying principle being that "no one can tell you if you are a boy or a girl, only you can".

    Exercises include imagining the loss of your genitalia (gender assignment operation) and terminology such as 'ladies and gentleman' are to be replaced with gender neutral references such as "all of you" or "good evening everyone". Putting up posters and accessing websites for gay and transgender (adult) communities and to resist teaching staff if instructed not to.

    This theme is continued in other exercises such as directed class conversation exercises where boys who identify as girls are advised that they can use the girls' facilities which include toilets, showering areas, camping quarters. I could not find any references to safeguard sexual and physical safety of girls, particularly students who have survived trauma or who just feel uncomfortable about a boy wandering in their area. The overall feel was "get with the programme". Associated materials include boys in girls uniform with the underwritten directive that gender is not uniform. Girls who think they are boys are shown how to flatten their breasts whereas boys are shown, via illustration and roleplay how to tuck in their genitals and 'soften the look' of their hands. I'm kinda wondering how a minor is shown to manipulate his genitalia via roleplay. I'm curious about that one. Does the teacher have a solitary tutoring role or does the class join in or..? Anyway, I digress.

    The programme lists statistics regarding how many children it feels have gender dysphoria, a claim I was unable to find in any publication. I noticed too that several publications that were referred to have now been withdrawn from the public domain so, alas, I cannot produce the "How to support your child on their transgender journey" for you. But I did manage to find another similar document designed for use in the classroom and you can find that here. Bear in mind that this publication is for use in late primary and highschool classrooms.

    The programme can either be taught in lesson format or can be used as a resource.

    Its purpose is said to be anti-bullying.

    However, I feel it is anything but. My overriding concern was the intense focus on gender and this unshakeable feeling of being indoctrinated. While dissent was encouraged in students who identified as being LGTBI, to be outside this community and elicit the same expression was to suggest that you were part of the bullying crowd. I really resented that. To argue for one's rights does not make one a homophobe or anti-transgender. I also felt the emphasis on gender deconstruction disguised as an anti-bullying education was insulting and the assertion that gender fluidity was a reality was offensive. For a start, gender fluidity is not an established fact but a theory. I also felt the statistics to support various claims in the programme were wildly inflated. The LGBTI community is minute when counting their number against that of the entire population so claims of 20% of children being gay or transgender etc I found lacked credibility when I attempted to find written evidence that would sustain such a claim. What I did find was that it was closer to .1%. Yes, that's a decimal before the numeral. I then looked at the authors of the programme and was a little concerned to find that not only were they part of a gay focus group but that most were gay and some had some very pronounced political leanings. All had very little experience teaching the students they were writing for if at all. The lack of experience and overt bias surprised me.

    I am disappointed that a programme being promoted as an anti-bullying mechanism, to me, smacks of social engineering. While I totally understand and accept that there are some children out there who do have gender identity issues, it is not the norm nor should it be considered normal in terms of prevalence. I found a lot of the material age inappropriate and inaccurate and dismissive of the parental right to educate the child as they see fit.

    I do feel we need something like this in schools as there are children out there who do need support. But not like this. How this ever got past any review committee is astounding to me and as a parent I will be querying any school I enrol my child in as to whether they are part of the Safe School Coalition and if they are, my child will not be attending.
    The number you use for percentage of the population identifying as gay or transgender also does not seem credible. I did a quick Google and the most up to date statistic appears to be from a Gallup poll and puts the number is the US identifying at LGBTI as 3.8% and that is from 2015.
    I find it hard to believe Australian numbers would be greatly different from that.

  8. #15
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    From a teaching background, and currently working in the field of child protection, I wholeheartedly support the program. It's a fantastic resource that enables teachers to tackle difficult issues in a respectful manner.

    Like it or not, there ARE gay and transgender kids in our schools. No, many of them aren't aware of their sexuality yet, but that doesn't mean they're unaware of their 'difference'. Gender conformity is pushed so strongly in our society, and children are very well attuned to this. Those kids who feel that they don't fit the mold are well aware, and often feel that there's something wrong with them. The safe schools program is literally lifesaving. For children to know that they are not the only one, and that their school stands behind them, is enormously important.

    Children are not being harmed by this program, but it can save lives. In my books, the interests of those children far outweighs the comfort of adults.

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  10. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renn View Post
    From a teaching background, and currently working in the field of child protection, I wholeheartedly support the program. It's a fantastic resource that enables teachers to tackle difficult issues in a respectful manner.

    Like it or not, there ARE gay and transgender kids in our schools. No, many of them aren't aware of their sexuality yet, but that doesn't mean they're unaware of their 'difference'. Gender conformity is pushed so strongly in our society, and children are very well attuned to this. Those kids who feel that they don't fit the mold are well aware, and often feel that there's something wrong with them. The safe schools program is literally lifesaving. For children to know that they are not the only one, and that their school stands behind them, is enormously important.

    Children are not being harmed by this program, but it can save lives. In my books, the interests of those children far outweighs the comfort of adults.
    Thanks for your insight - have you also read and/or used the program? What would you say to @Mrs Tickles experience after reading the program - obviously you didnt feel the same way?

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    @MrsTickle I noticed in the Teaching Guide it provides refernces for their some of their statistics. Did you find something repudiating the validity of the studies they relied on?

  12. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renn View Post
    From a teaching background, and currently working in the field of child protection, I wholeheartedly support the program. It's a fantastic resource that enables teachers to tackle difficult issues in a respectful manner.

    Like it or not, there ARE gay and transgender kids in our schools. No, many of them aren't aware of their sexuality yet, but that doesn't mean they're unaware of their 'difference'. Gender conformity is pushed so strongly in our society, and children are very well attuned to this. Those kids who feel that they don't fit the mold are well aware, and often feel that there's something wrong with them. The safe schools program is literally lifesaving. For children to know that they are not the only one, and that their school stands behind them, is enormously important.

    Children are not being harmed by this program, but it can save lives. In my books, the interests of those children far outweighs the comfort of adults.
    I think there's a difference between talking about the scale of masculinity and femininity and saying that you don't have to be either because people say so, and saying "hey it's totally normal to have gender disphoria and let's just deconstruct gender entirely".
    To say, girls don't have to have soft hands because that's not what being a girl is, and then telling boys to soften their hands to be "like girls" is stupid and self defeating.
    Gender deconstruction IS up for debate and shouldn't be taught as the norm within a society in which is isn't.

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  14. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renn View Post
    Children are not being harmed by this program, but it can save lives. In my books, the interests of those children far outweighs the comfort of adults.
    Said perfectly

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    Wow,thanks @Mrs Tickle, for all of your insight. A lot of that content makes me really concerned too. I am all for teaching self protection &sex education, but I would seriously consider whether the content you described is age appropriate. I teach my 5 year old that she can say 'no' to physical contact (eg, kisses from nanna, or anything else) at any time. We've talked about private parts, and touching them in private - eg, bedroom. We've talked about situations where others can see your private parts - eg, if the doctor need to check & mummy is there and says its ok, or in the bath with mum, dad or nanna. We've talked about "boy colours/ girl colours", short and long hair, boy and girl clothes, etc - that all things can be enjoyd by everyone, and that it is silly to limit things to boys/ girls only. She's seen me in the toilet & is aware of periods. I havent told her what s3x is, & I wouldnt be comfortable at all with her experiencing the content you are describing. As an Early Childhood teacher, it definitely does not seem age appropriate, & I studied under one of the top child protection experts in the country. I think I will have to read it & see for myself. My kids go to a private school which I know wouldnt teach the safe schools curriculum, so Im glad for that.
    Last edited by cheeeeesecake; 15-07-2016 at 19:57.

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