Days after Citipointe Christian College in Brisbane issued an updated enrolment contract for students that has been slammed as “homophobic” and “transphobic”, some parents have registered their protest, with a few even withdrawing their children from the school.

According to the Daily Mail, Janina Leo unenrolled her three children from Citipointe Christian College due to its revised anti-LGBTQI enrolment contract. 

Leo, a psychologist, said one of her children is transgender, and was told what they could and could not wear to a school formal.  “Just really hard seeing my child have to struggle with those feelings and thoughts about themselves and acceptance at the school they’ve attended for their whole life,” Leo said in a Nine News interview. 

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“This has devastated me as a mum and as a psychologist as well.” 

‘I Did Not Want My Child To Hear Something That Revolting’

She also told the news outlet it was not the first time she had had a disagreement with the school regarding its views of a student’s gender identity. 

Last week, Citipointe Christian College in Carindale had asked parents to sign the updated enrolment contract, that equated homosexuality with bestiality and paedophilia and outlined the school’s policy to only recognise the student’s biological sex. The contract would also allow the school to expel students for coming out as gay or transgender.

The News Corp masthead reported that Leo had complained to the school about a “lesson discussing gender and identity which feature cartoon illustrations of an androgynous alien and a man living as a six-year-old girl as examples of transgender people.”

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“It was disgusting, and as a mother I did not want my child to hear something that revolting,” Leo said. 

‘I Can’t Work For An Organisation That Does That To Kids’

Another parent and Citipointe teacher, Helen Clapham Burns has told Channel 10’s The Project she had resigned from the Christian college on Monday due to her disapproval of the enrolment contact. She also withdrew her children from the school.

“At the beginning of enrolment and during enrolment, if they don’t adhere to this we terminate the enrolment,” Burns said. “I can’t work for an organisation that does that to kids. The extra element of being a queer kid in a Christian environment is you think you’re going to hell. I don’t even know how you walk through the day with that.” 

Parents Reject Anti-LGBTQI Contract

The ABC  also published a statement from 14 parents who have formed the Concerned Parents of Citipointe group. 

In the statement, the parents wrote: “Citipointe Christian College is not only discriminating against students on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. It is also discriminating against parents on the basis of religion.”

The parents also wrote they have “decided to take the complaint to the Human Rights Commission.”

They said the school has “unilaterally redefined the Christian faith in a way that makes it impossible for many Christians to remain associated with the school.” They also would have liked if the school had consulted both parents and teachers before revising the contract.

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“As parents with children in the school, we reject the amended contract because it violates the faith and values that the school itself promised to uphold in their original enrolment contract,” they added.

Principal Defends Contract

According to the Daily Mail, Pastor Mulheran, the principal of Citipointe released a six-minute video statement to parents through the school’s portal on Tuesday evening. 

He said parents will have an additional two weeks until February 21 to sign the contract which he defended as not being “discriminatory” and being protected under “religious freedom.” 

“While I’ve been principal of the college, we have not expelled or refused to enroll any student on the basis that are gay or transgender,” he said to parents. 

“It is often misunderstood but it is an established international principle that a legitimate exercise of religious freedom is not discrimination, it is a feature of an open society.”

Queensland’s Non-State Schools Accreditation Board will review the contract on Thursday.

Scott McDougall, the state’s Human Rights Commissioner said the college will not “wriggle out of its legally-binding commitments under discrimination legislation.” 

To date, over 150,000 people have signed a petition demanding the school recall the offensive enrolment contract. 

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

 

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