It's OK to be gay or trans.

Written by Canberra Times on . Posted in News & Updates

 

Andrew Barr made an impassioned defence of the Safe Schools program on Wednesday, saying he knows enough about being gay in school to know how important it is for gay and gender-diverse teens to be told they are normal.

"Let me make some clear and definitive statements. It is OK to be gay, it is OK to be lesbian, it is OK to be bisexual or intersex, there is nothing wrong with you," he said. "You are not abnormal, you do not deserve to be discriminated against."

Mr Barr, speaking during a debate on the Safe Schools program in the ACT Parliament, said 23 public schools in Canberra – about a quarter of schools – and one independent school had joined the program, aimed at reducing bullying of gay, intersex and gender diverse students.

His message to LGBTI kids was "your rights and your feelings matter to us".

Explainer: what is Safe Schools Coalition?

Written by Lucy Nicholas on . Posted in News & Updates

 

Recently, Safe Schools Coalition has been accused of “promoting a radical view of gender and sexuality”, and foisting it on schools through “indoctrination”, “enforcement”, and “induction”.

So what is Safe Schools Coalition? And is it indoctrinating students?

What is it?

Safe Schools Coalition describes itself as:

… a national coalition of organisations and schools working together to create safe and inclusive school environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families.

National funding for the work comes from the Department of Education. The Victorian government has funded Safe Schools Coalition Victoria with a commitment to work with every state secondary school by 2019. These groups’ work is based on extensive empirical research about schools as sites of bullying and harassment for same-sex attracted, trans and gender diverse young people.

There are similar whole-school initiatives, including for primary schools, in the UK and elsewhere.

We must celebrate gender and sexual diversity in our schools

Written by Lucy Nicholas on . Posted in News & Updates

 

Moralising commentaries about the Safe Schools Coalition are dangerously out of touch with the science of sex, the social research about gender and the realities of the ways that young people already understand their own sexual and gender identities.

In the past weeks and months, the Safe Schools Coalition, a national program that offers outreach and resources to schools to foster a safe environment for LGBTI young people, has come under increasing attack in a range of publications.

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