Flyers attacking Safe Schools, which is no longer funded in New South Wales, have been found in letterboxes in the lead up to the Wentworth by-election.
Aside from being a graphic design nightmare, the materials say that “‘Safe Schools’ and similar programs sexualise your children without parental consent and awareness”.
It says it was “gathered and presented by a group of concerned parents” and is not immediately attributable to existing anti-LGBTI groups, though one link included in the text directs to the website of anti-LGBTI group, Salt Shakers, which has been relatively dormant in recent years.
Some of the rhetoric in the materials mimics that of the Australian Christian Lobby, which similarly warns against an infringement on parents’ rights should conversion therapy against trans youth be banned.
It claims that Safe Schools and similar anti-bullying programs are designed “to destroy traditional family values and morals by indoctrinating our children without parental consent.”
It rails against the idea that gender is not defined by sex, saying the mere suggestion of this can lead to kids using “harmful drugs and surgery to become transgenders”.
The flyer also mentions the same instance of roleplaying involving a bisexual teenager who had had 15 sexual partners that Prime Minister Scott Morrison said made his “skin curl”.
It also claims that children are being taught about sex at “age 0 – 4”.
So-called ‘experts’ are also cited in the materials, with Western Sydney University’s John Whitehall – who has compared the medical consensus to treat gender dysphoria humanely to practices like lobotomies and eugenics – making an appearance.
So too does Quentin van Meter, who has regularly denied proven science around trans people and called them delusional and whose scheduled talk at the University of Western Australia in August was cancelled after significant outcry.
— Pauline Pantsdown (@PPantsdown) October 15, 2018
The flyer notes that the New South Wales government has defunded Safe Schools in the state, with NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley declaring that the program is “gone for good” even if there is a change of government.
“Schools have a role to stop bullying. But what I won’t have is some theory that comes from a university sociology course doing it.
“That’s not helping to stop bullying,” he said, despite research showing that the program did, indeed, help stop bullying.
The Wentworth by-election, held to fill the seat vacated by Malcolm Turnbull, will be held on October 20, with recent polling indicating that Independent candidate Kerryn Phelps may be tipped to win.