As the federal government's funding for the radical sexuality and gender program known as Safe Schools dried up a couple of years ago, mums and dads in WA, and indeed across Australia, breathed a sigh of relief. As it turned out, it was the words of the program's key architect, Roz Ward, that did more to damn the Safe Schools program than the numerous letters to the editor sent to newspapers by parents. Ward's candid words about the program left no room for doubt about what was the true intention of the initiative:
"… Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual diversity. … Not about stopping bullying. About gender and sexual diversity. About same-sex attraction. About being transgender. About being lesbian, gay, bisexual – say the words – transgender, intersex. Not just be nice to everyone. Everyone's great."
The sexuality and gender ideology behind Ward's Safe Schools program was extreme and hard-edged. Those with knowledge of the Gender Studies units taught in our universities will be familiar with the theories. In plain language, it is asserted that sexuality and gender are located on their own continuums and can be subject to personal choice. Quite literally one can, through an exercise of will, choose their sexuality and gender. Moreover, sexuality and gender are deemed not to be fixed but open to alteration and change. Using the fashionable language, they are fluid. The thinking behind the theory is truly breathtaking; human beings with sufficient will can alter the essence of their very nature. It is the ultimate exercise of mind over matter.
However, the discredited and jaundiced Safe Schools program in WA is not dead, it is flourishing and is being fully funded by the state Labor government. It is alive and kicking and being enthusiastically promoted across the state by the Education Minister, Sue Ellery. It has a new name – Inclusive Education WA.
Those who have been following this matter will recall the Safe Schools program was run out of the office of the Western Australian AIDS Council. People from that organisation ran the program. As its Commonwealth funding wound down the state Labor government stepped in with money to keep the show going. However, the name had to be changed because it was so damaged. There was some rebranding along with fresh promotional material, but the underlying ideology and narrative were to remain the same. Inclusive Education WA conducts its activities out of the Western Australian AIDS Council premises and involves at least some of the individuals who ran the Safe Schools program. As was reported in the media in early January this year, a further $1.4 million has been poured into Inclusive Education WA to expand its reach into schools right across the state.
It may come as a surprise to mums and dads that their children are being directed by their schools to visit the Western Australian AIDS Council website to access Inclusive Education WA information and material. The information and material that one finds there is in a number of respects even more ideological and extreme than the old Safe Schools content. That discussion I will leave for another day.
However, what parents will find shocking is what their sons and daughters will get to see and read on the Western Australian AIDS Council website as the children inevitably click through its content and links, not just looking to access Inclusive Education WA material, but exploring what is in front of them. One does not need much of an imagination to anticipate what those children will find on that website. It is difficult to describe what one finds, but it might be explained this way: if you think of the Australian classification system for films and computer games much of the content would be rated Restricted (X 18+) with some of it, I suspect, bordering on Refused Classification (RC). Publications on the website include The Little Black and Blue Condom Guide, Taking a Look: The basics of HIV prevention for gay men, Sexual health and more for gay, bi, and queer trans men and The Bottom Line: Gay Men, HPV & Anal Cancer.
Almost any one of the publications will expose the children to a range of sexual practices many of which are, from a health point of view, high risk and dangerous. They include fisting, rimming, anal sex. The material is also replete with graphic information about fingering, piercing and STIs. I could go on.
How can it be that in 2019, when mums and dads are doing everything they can to protect their children from exposure to corrupting and dehumanising material on the internet, that schools across the state are channelling those very same children to a website hosting the content outlined above? Furthermore, how is it possible that the Education Minister, Sue Ellery, senior bureaucrats from the Department of Education and Western Australian AIDS Council members, who all know what is going on, have gotten away with this without either being challenged or called to account?
While the state Labor government can not be held responsible for what happened relating to the Safe Schools program prior to March 2017, what I have outlined above is going on right now, under their watch. Not only that, the state Labor government is continuing to funnel money into theInclusive Education WA program. Mums and dads have had little to say about this matter to date – not because they do not care, but because they do not know. This must end now. It is time for these parents to become fully informed so they can demand that the exposure of their children to this explicit material cease immediately.