On Wednesday 26 October, Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins brought a motion before the upper house of the Victorian parliament, calling on the government to withdraw the Safe Schools program from schools and to conduct a review of the program which would take into account the views of parents. This was the first motion of its type in any Australian parliament.
In speaking to this motion, Dr Carling-Jenkins drew attention to a number of issues about Safe Schools that have caused a high degree of concern among parents and experts in the fields of paediatrics, education and child protection.
From the outset, Dr Carling-Jenkins and the DLP have maintained that the bullying of any child, for any reason, is undesirable and unacceptable. Indeed, our children deserve the very best educational programs we can give them.
Safe Schools is ideological and less about bullying than furthering the political and social agendas of the LGBTI movement to which it is intimately connected. Instead of being indoctrinated with such theories and agendas, our children deserve a program that builds their emotional intelligence and eradicates all forms of bullying, without controversy, without confusion, without causing concern to parents and without ideological bias.
Disappointingly, the government’s first speaker on the motion spoke beyond the negotiated time-slots, which prevented other members from contributing on the day. The debate would have been all the poorer for it, but thankfully the coalition and crossbench parties made extra time for debate to be resumed during general business on Wednesday 9 November.
The motion divided the house at 18 for and 18 against, which unfortunately meant the motion was defeated. However, the debate allowed many of the issues regarding the Safe Schools program to be brought to light, and it has generated a great deal of momentum within the community.
Dr Carling-Jenkins and the DLP would like to thank everyone who has voiced their concerns about this issue, and everyone who has signed a petition against the program. Now is not the time to give up but to keep pressing forward.
The fight continues.