Over 1,000 Anglican students hit back at schools’ fight for the right to discriminate

Over 1,000 Anglican students hit back at schools’ fight for the right to discriminate

Over 1,000 current and former Anglican school students have signed an open letter to the 34 schools who are demanding their right to discriminate against LGBTI staff and students be upheld.

It sparked a letter from Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich requesting an apology from the Anglican Church for their doubling down against changes to the Sex Discrimination Act.

Greenwich’s letter also noted the Diocese of Sydney’s campaign against marriage equality during the postal survey last year.

The open letter to the heads of the Anglican schools was organised by Max Loomes, a former student of St Luke’s Grammar School in Sydney, The Guardian reported.

“We, a body of current and previous students (and parents) from your schools, are writing to you to let you know we are appalled at your open letter to PM Scott Morrison demanding the right to discriminate against LGBT staff,” the letter reads.

“While each and every student may hold a different opinion on a variety of topics, this blatant attempt of silencing gay and lesbian people is a step too far.

“Being homosexual does not in any way impair a staff member’s ability to work,” the letter continues.

“If LGBT staff are to be discriminated against due to their sexuality, they will have live in fear that they will lose their job if they are to be themselves.

“Living like this is not humane nor in any way acceptable. School is meant to be a place of development, open expression and trust.

“Without this ability to be open, we think that staff will not be able to work to their highest potential.”

Gabby Cassidy Doyle, who attended Arndell College, wrote an impassioned Facebook post about the bullying she says she experienced while a student there, and the alleged discrimination she experienced from staff, which has now been shared dozens of times.

Having seen the signature of Arndell’s Principal on the list, Doyle hit out at the school, writing, “After almost ten years, I’m still haunted by the treatment I received at Arndell.”

“As a fragile 16-year-old girl I was publicly outed by a teacher. I was completely humiliated,” Doyle alleged.

“I was relentlessly bullied for being ‘a fat dyke’, and when I asked for help, I was told I had brought it on myself.

“I was sent to meet with the school [chaplain], who kindly informed me that I was damned to hell.

“I was humiliated and made fun of on a daily basis, and the school just stood by and watched it happen.

“The most humiliating moment in my school history is when I was told I could no longer change in the girls change rooms for fear that I would act sexually inappropriately towards another student.

“I had never felt so isolated.”

Doyle wrote that she ended up leaving the school.

“The only thing I have to thank Arndell for is how strong and determined I am now,” she wrote.

“You did not win. You can’t pray away the gay.”

The open letter organised by Loomes ends with a simple message.

“We call on you to retract your open letter and not judge your staff by their sexual orientation but by the quality of their work.”

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One response to “Over 1,000 Anglican students hit back at schools’ fight for the right to discriminate”

  1. Wow, powerful stuff from Gabby Cassidy Doyle. And well done to the other thousand folks mentioned in this article too.

    And the general rule about petitions like this (particularly how quickly this has occurred) is that there are likely 5-10 folks who agree with it to at least some extent but decline to sign for every one who does.

    These schools rely on their popularity with their alumni communities for their good name, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was some sort of backdown in the coming weeks (particularly as it becomes clear that the Liberals are desperately keen to avoid the religious freedom discussion).

    I went to an Anglican school. I remember an incident in the late 1980’s where the school sacked a popular maths teacher. A petition went around, the school seniors announced they’d be boycotting inter-school sports on Saturday mornings and the teacher was reinstated that same day. You can’t afford to lose that community if you’re a private college principal, and the statistical survey suggests that a lot of old collegians in the nice suburbs around Sydney (Wentworth, Warringah, North Sydney electorates for example) voted Yes in droves.