Mother Pulls Children Out of School After it Introduced ‘Transgender Awareness Program’*
By Cindy Tran
A mother has reportedly pulled her children out of a school over claims a program that promotes transgender awareness is ‘brainwashing’ students within the institution.
Mother Cella White said her 14-year-old son was told in science class that he could wear a dress to Frankston High School, about 40 kilometres south of Melbourne, and call transgender students by their preferred pronoun, the Herald Sun reported.
The government-funded program – run by the Safe Schools Coalition since 2010 – is designed to create safe and inclusive school environments for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students.
‘This isn’t about safe schools, it’s transgenderism and gay activism bought into the classroom,’ Ms White told the publication.
The mother of four said the school’s policy could see children sharing a bathroom with gender-diverse students.
‘It could be a year 12 student of the opposite-born sex in the bathroom with my year 7 daughter who is blind,’ Ms White said.
She also claimed that she was not the only parent who was unhappy with the school’s policy.
Ms White said she wanted to warn other parents of ‘what their children are being taught’.
‘It’s being presented as an anti-bullying program but the education department said it’s a sexual diversity program,’ she said.
A spokesperson for Minister for Education James Merlino told Daily Mail Australia the program was designed to promote inclusion, safety and understanding within the school grounds.
‘Claims that the program is about brainwashing or indoctrination are just wrong,’ the spokesperson said.
‘Discrimination, harassment and bullying have no place in Victorian schools, and it is up to all of us to establish safe and inclusive learning environments for every one of our students.
‘We are proud of the work the Safe Schools Coalition is doing to make all Victorian students feel supported.
‘Labour made an election commitment to bring this important program to every Victorian government school and we are happy to honour that promise.’
Director Safe Schools Coalition Australia Sally Richardson told Daily Mail Australia the program ‘works to actively support schools, across all education sectors’.
‘[And] to build respectful relationships, celebrate diversity and support individual choices for the wellbeing of all young people.
‘We provide schools with practical ways to foster a positive school culture where students, staff and families of all gender identities feel safe, included and valued.
‘To date close to 500 schools have joined the program nationally and we look forward to seeing this number grow as we continue our work in 2016.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Cella White for further comment.