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Byron Shire
June 3, 2023

Ballina MP calls for retention of Safe Schools program

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Tamara Smith. Photo Tree Faerie.
Tamara Smith. Photo Tree Faerie.

Ballina MP and NSW Greens spokesperson for education Tamara Smith yesterday spoke out in support of the NSW Safe Schools program, which is under threat.

‘It is astonishing that we have people petitioning NSW parliament, saying that they do not want schools to be safe for all students that attend them. Surely everyone would agree that our schools should be safe, supportive and inclusive for all young people,’ said Ms Smith.

A petition to stop the Safe Schools program from being taught in NSW schools is due to be debated in the NSW parliament tomorrow.

‘Since the petition was tabled many representatives of the Australian Chinese community and other multicultural groups have come out loud and proud in support of the Safe Schools program. We know that there’s broad support from all sections of our community who want our young people to feel supported and included at school,’ said Ms Smith.

‘Safe Schools helps to prevent discrimination and isolation. It creates a safe space for students no matter what their sexuality is, no matter what their gender identity is, no matter what kind of family they come from.

‘If the plebiscite on marriage equality goes ahead, young people will need all the support they can get to counter the negative views that are likely to be expressed about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex  and questioning Australians during the national debate.

‘Conservative attacks on Safe Schools continue to be based on scare tactics and misleading information about what the program involves. This is a program developed by educators, with the best interests of students as the focus,’ said Ms Smith.

 

 


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Yep, time to counter the unwarranted and unrepresentative creeping influence of the religious right and the wackos that get dragged along in their wake. They need to be called out loudly at every opportunity for their intolerant and destructive ideologies they are trying to force on the rest of us.

  2. ‘Conservative attacks on Safe Schools continue to be based on scare tactics and misleading information about what the program involves. This is a program developed by educators, with the best interests of students as the focus,’ said Ms Smith. A google search of published information from all corners of the media and the fact that Ms. Roz Ward is not an educator (albeit operating out of a University) and is a self proclaimed Maxist would indicate that Ms. Smith is not very well informed on this topic. Ex-prime Minister Gillard started this ball rolling with a set of Terms of Reference, that it would appear no educators actually took the trouble to read, and a nice kick start of millions of tax payer funded support. Suggest more research would be advisable for Ms. Smith before she comments further.

  3. The Safe Schools program is an initiative that allows children and other people to develop understandings of what diversity in society means. Schools and other institutions have for some years raised positive awareness of cultural and racial differences, so now sexual orientation and issues of sexuality that are appropriate and reasonable for Australian society in the 21st century should also be given serious attention.
    We are talking about working towards a fairer society and challenging prejudice, ignorance and judgemental attitudes.
    Thanks to Tamara Smith, our Balline MP for supporting this program.

    • K Lavender You have put the matter very well. In Canberra this program has wide support form the community and it is seen by parents as helping normalise tolerance and diversity and I also support Tamara in this. Notwithstanding that I make more than a few typo’s myself , I do have to pick up on your description of her as “our Balline MP” – I am not sure “Balline” is a word but if was it would probably mean “Whale-like”!

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