QUEENSLAND schools will lose federal funding for the Safe Schools program after October.
The Queensland Teachers Union says “political ramifications” are stopping the state government from funding the anti-bullying program after federal funding expires, according to ABC News.
“Principals, in consultation with their community, are best placed to decide what’s appropriate for their schools,” said a spokesperson for Queensland’s Education Minister.
Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said he believes the move allows the state government to provide access to Safe Schools while dodging “negative attributions”.
“We understand the political ramifications for a government to continue in the face of what has been a somewhat hysterical response from elements of the community,” he said.
“We would hope that at some point in the future, reason will reign and we’ll have a situation return to our schools where they can access the professional development through quality external providers.”
Janet Berry of the Queensland Action Group for LGBTIQ+ Students said leaving funding up to individual schools may see many miss out on the training.
“Without the training, these teachers do not know what it’s like to be a lesbian or gay child, or a transgender child, or a child with intersex variations, and without that knowledge… to know what support they need… there’s no way that they can actually offer that,” she said.
A spokesperson for Queensland’s Education Department said schools will still have access to the Safe Schools Coalition’s resources, which include lesson plans and pamphlets.
“The Department of Education and Training is committed to ensuring state schools are safe learning environments for all students, regardless of their gender, race, disability, appearance or sexual identity,” they said.