ANTI-MARRIAGE equality group Marriage Alliance has produced a Safe Schools ‘information kit’ and has started dropping them in letterboxes.
The pamphlet – which has also been published online – is promoted as an “important message for parents” and criticises the Safe Schools program and the ways it teaches children about gender.
Concord resident Benjamin found the pamphlet in his letterbox yesterday, as did many of his neighbours on the street.
“I was very upset to come home and find this leaflet, my neighbours received it too,” he told the Star Observer.
“The problem with the leaflet is that it’s so misleading and untruthful.
“I was thinking of friends and all the young people I’ve supported over the years – I hope they don’t see this, and that it doesn’t reinforce the ignorant views of some of their family.”
The pamphlet highlights key elements of the Safe Schools program, including its encouragement of giving positive examples of gender diversity in various subjects.
“The Safe Schools website encourages finding ways to include gender diversity in maths, legal studies, history, and economics,” Marriage Alliance warns.
“So even if a parent sought to have their child opt-out of classes which included Safe Schools materials, they would not be able to prevent their child from being exposed to the ideology in other subjects.”
An image of The Gender Fairy, an Australian children’s book aimed at raising trans awareness, is also featured in the condemning pamphlet.
Author of The Gender Fairy Jo Hirst said her book has been recommended by a lot of people including the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“It’s designed to help the friends of trans children understand what they’re going through,” she told the Star Observer.
“It’s about compassion and education and I think there are some grown ups that can do with that as well.”
Hirst said the pamphlet could be damaging.
“What you’ve got to remember is that trans children are being supported in line with the way doctors and psychologists are recommended they be supported,” she said.
“The book is written in line with those recommendations – so what Marriage Alliance is trying to do is tell people these doctors are wrong.
“That’s dangerous because we know if children are supported their mental health and education outcomes are excellent but if they’re not supported the outcomes aren’t good.”
Despite being a group formed for the sole purpose of advocating against marriage equality, Marriage Alliance has been outspoken in its criticism of Safe Schools.
Perhaps aware of how transparent this homophobia or transphobia may appear, the group makes a loose connection between Safe Schools and marriage equality on its website.
“If we change the marriage law to include same-sex relationships, we will need to change sex education so that all relevant sexual practices are taught as equally valid and healthy,” Marriage Alliance’s website reads.
“That’s why they talk about changing the marriage law and Safe Schools in the same breath.
“Don’t be fooled – Safe Schools seek to indoctrinate Australian children from a young age.”
Marriage Alliance came under fire earlier this year for a controversial Twitter post that depicted a rainbow-coloured noose photoshopped on a stock photo of an office desk worker.
Last month the Safe Schools program was debated in NSW parliament after Liberal MP Damien Tudehope presented a petition calling for it to be axed, saying it was a “Trojan horse for far-left extremists.”
There are currently 545 schools signed up to Safe Schools and over 18,000 trained teachers.
Find out more about the work the Safe Schools Coalition is doing to help young LGBTI people here: http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org.au/