Education Queensland must cease pandering to the religious right

Education Queensland must cease pandering to the religious right

The bright-eyed image of young Tyrone Unsworth coupled with the circumstances surrounding his death evoke profound, indescribable sadness. We have no way of knowing if the presence of a Safe Schools program at Tyrone’s high school could have prevented his death.

All ‘controversy’ associated with the Safe Schools program has been entirely fabricated by the viciously homophobic Australian Christian Lobby—relentlessly assisted by News Limited. In mid-2015 the ACL’s intense hate-campaigning forced all Queensland schools participating in Safe Schools to remain unidentified at the coalition’s website—at the time, the only state to do so. To this day, Queensland schools running the program are subjected to a constant stream of abusive correspondence, emails and phone calls.

It is timely then that we re-post our correspondence of March 2016 to Queensland education minister Kate Jones. At the time, the request within our letter to meet with the minister received a one-line ‘too busy’ rejection.

Our correspondence described, and provided evidence of the ACL seeking the assistance of Education Queensland endorsed Christian religious instructors to undermine Safe Schools. Also provided were examples of a critical 2013 policy statement regarding LGBTI students which had subsequently, and hastily, been removed from the Education Queensland website.

It is disgraceful that Education Queensland, having been provided in March 2016 with these damning materials, can choose to ignore the ongoing malicious actions and bullying tactics of the Australian Christian Lobby while allowing homophobic Pentecostal and assorted other fringe protestant ACL-associated churches and cults free access to provide numerous quasi-evangelical ‘resilience’ and ‘relationships’ programs including Hillsong Shine, and Letitia Shelton’s (sister of Lyle) bizarre Bella Girl.

We call upon Education Queensland to cease pandering to the Australian Christian Lobby and the minister’s own covert band of religious-right ‘advisors’. We further request that the minister immediately reinstates: Policy statement: Supporting Same Sex Attracted, Intersex or Transgender Students at School as contained within our correspondence of March 2016.

Safe Schools must be allowed to operate proudly, freely, and without fear.

 

Ron Williams
Managing Director
Secular Public Education Limited

 

 

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