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  1. #31
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    Default Tell me about the "Safe Schools" program

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Tickle View Post
    Apart from being quite presumptive, I think you have not understood what I have written, A&S. My comments regarding the conference were made as a marker of attitudes towards the programme but the bulk of my comments were regarding the actual programme itself for which I did provide examples to illustrate those comments further. Have you partaken in the programme itself? Have you delivered or even read it? Doesn't sound as though you have.

    Rather than choose the reactionary route, I simply put forward my concerns regarding the demographic at whom the somewhat advanced issues of gender politics and social engineering is aimed and whether it's an appropriate platform for such issues. Even as you said yourself, it's very complex and if you don't expect me to exact any understanding of it in a two day conference then how the heck can you expect young children to pick it up in an 8 lesson format? I am not a dismissive person. I like to look into things, feel around them and extract as much meaning as I can from them before I formulate an opinion of them. All I can be is honest and it's after much consideration and research, I don't feel that the SSP is appropriate for schools and can actually be counterproductive. This isn't a gay issue. And that was my point. It's a human one. And for every right you claim, remember that there are responsibilities too. And one of those responsibilities is keep all our children safe and that includes not allowing their minds to be hijacked by an element of the community with a specific agenda that has very little to do with concrete education. Schools do have inclusion and anti-bullying policies that were well in place before SS was around. SS was introduced to make the sexual and gender element prominent and many people just don't agree that this is the right way and for reasons I explained earlier. Please note too that concerns were elicited from right across communities not just the heterosexual corner as you appear to presume.

    Irrespective of what your adult self protests, I still believe that the right of the parent to decide when and how their child is safely introduced to such issues is inalienable and should be respected: something I find the majority still supports.
    Your words remind me of my brother in law (note: not technically my BIL because I'm sure you're aware that same sex attracted people are still not allowed to get married in this country). He is a white man and therefore does not understand that he is privileged. Not his fault but he can not and will not understand the struggles that women and people who are not white, face. All attempts at reasoning are fruitless.

    You are (presumably) a heterosexual female with (what you hope to be) heterosexual children and the way I see it... You don't want them be corrupted by anything other than heterosexual education.

    If you are using words such as 'agenda' 'normal' 'the majority' to support your argument then you really need to have a look at where those feelings are coming from.

    Honestly I'll just going to call it. You sound like a homophobe. Your platform for this whole conversation has been about ensuring 'normal' values are Upheld because the majority of people want it and you don't think teaching children about gender diversity is appropriate.

    Anyway I'm checking out. I just couldn't bear to think people were picking up your bigoted words and not hearing the other side of the story. The side of someone that this actually affects.
    Last edited by A&S; 20-07-2016 at 00:17.

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  3. #32
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    I support a program that encourages acceptance and diversity and addresses bullying. I would also support funding more assistance for those who are struggling with these particular issues, especially youth.

    I don't support a program that aims to address gender deconstruction in the classroom like this.
    Using the logic that kids/people need to understand something in order to accept it WORKS AGAINST acceptance of diversity imo. We will never understand everything, let alone in the same way, but we should still accept differences and work together. I'm more than fine with that message.

    I don't believe the program will turn kids gay/trans. That's ridiculous. I just don't believe that the current form of it will achieve what it says it will. It's very specific information about what remains a controversial topic and is presented in a way that is confronting to those who arent ready for those ideas. I actually imagine the classes would result in fits of laughter and horrible comments that would be awful for a young trans kid to hear. It's also worth considering that the person presenting the program in the classroom may not be taking it very seriously either.

    Teaching the program won't make the content any less controversial because gender politics always will be.

    If we're not going to talk about the content of the program, how it's presented and/or what we'd change then this thread is already dead and useless. There's ALWAYS room for improvement.

    I'm going to clear the air here as well and I am not a person of privilege nor am I heterosexual. I experienced gender disphoria as a teen that nearly resulted in breast mutilation and I did use wrapping for a period. Thanks for making me feel that i had to say all that.

    Am I a ****ing bigot or a homophobe?

    This is not a "with us or against us" LGBTI campaign.

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  5. #33
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    I'm not going to bite. I'm practicing a little of Waleed Aly's advice today 😊

  6. #34
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    It wasn't bait.

    ETA At least it wasn't intended as bait. And my comment was also not motivated by fear if that's what you're implying?

    Not a very constructive comment in any case.
    Last edited by Yoghurt; 20-07-2016 at 22:28.

  7. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoghurt View Post
    It wasn't bait.

    ETA At least it wasn't intended as bait. And my comment was also not motivated by fear if that's what you're implying?

    Not a very constructive comment in any case.

    Hi Yoghurt,

    As is commonplace with advocates for this program, my accuser has not only jumped to expected (and grossly inaccurate) conclusions about me and has utilised this as a form of attack to discredit my person and my position, but has either failed to read what has been actually written over the breadth of this thread or does not understand what was written.

    The fact of the matter, which has been roundly documented, is that the majority was not made aware of the content of the program prior to its induction and when they did find out about it, all hell broke loose which resulted in a review and subsequent disendorsement by the Federal government. Again, it bears mentioning as those who seek to push their agenda by pulling out the ol' homophobe card seem to conveniently miss this, is that the SS program was not wholly supported by the gay and transgender community either.

    I'm not sure what the colour of my skin has to do with this debate either other than to use it as yet another convenient slur to be cast in an effort to elevate said accuser's position in the high moral ground stakes. But again, this is to be expected.

    Is social engineering gender diversity? Is the indoctrination of children into the auspices of one faction of gender politics real and non discriminatory education about gender diversity? I would think not. But am I going to call someone who disagrees with this a homophobe and a bigot? No.

    How unfortunate it is then that I also see that when my accuser was challenged by you she quickly retreated and, again, did so while throwing out another accusation which is predictable behaviour from those who seek to shoot people down and shut them out of the argument with their emotive and somewhat personally aimed outbursts as opposed to utilising solid, inalienable facts to support their argument.

    You're right. Not very constructive at all.

  8. #36
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    Wow so much sarcasm in one little thread.

    I think the program sounds fantastic. I have a daughter in year 5 and another one in year 2. I believe they are both capable of understanding this program and would greatly benefit from it. I am regularly speaking with them about gender and identity and any small amount of reinforcement of that at school would be amazing.

    I feel for parents who don't have these conversations or who are intimidated by the prospect of having them. One of my oldest friends daughter is transgender and her school has this program and her transition has been helped immeasurably by it.

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  10. #37
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    Can I also just add I have a friend whose daughter has an extremely rare genetic disorder which affects her behaviour but not her appearance. Kids would never know from looking at her that she's different. But she's very different. Her parents educate the kids in her year about her condition and why she behaves certain ways and what it means to them.

    The kids in the main cope fine with this information. They still have hiccups in the playground with her interactions with other children but it's greatly improved by the kids having empathy for her.

    She's 10. I'm struggling to understand why we can't have faith that our kids can understand this.

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  12. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeeeesecake View Post
    I would love to know too. One one hand, I've heard it is a great program teaching kids to celebrate and accept diversity and differences in s3xuality. I've heard that it will be life-saving for some kids in knowing that it is ok to be gay, or transexual,etc. It all sounds great from that end. But on the other hand,I've heard it is way OTT and teaches 9 year old primary school kids about things like an@l s3x and I've heard some ramblings about paedophilia too.... not even sure how that came into it? Honestly,the 'vibe' I got was that those who oppose the program are really just homophobic, so they try to find other excuses as to why they would oppose the program. I dont think I would be really comfortable with my 9yo learning about an@l s3x from a teacher in a classroom if that really were true... but my gut feeling is that surely it cant be true? So I'm not sure what to believe!
    Sorry, I haven't read the other replies, and I didn't know anything about safe schools, but my DS1 is Starting school next year so I figure I should get acquainted with this program. I've got a bit of reading to do, but I have to say, Im not sure I would be comfortable with my DS learning about any kind of sex at the age of 9. Isn't that too young? I'm in no way a prude, but isn't sex education something for slightly older kids, like 11 or 12? I really have no idea, I don't remember what age I learned about it.

  13. #39
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    Default Tell me about the "Safe Schools" program

    No I don't think 9 is too young. I actually think kids and parents need to have these conversations before 9.

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  15. #40
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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! I'm gobsmacked! Thank you for the details and your feedback!


 

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