Can Australian parents trust our schools
and teachers to present a balanced and
impartial view of the war in Iraq? Judging
by the actions of the Australian Education
Union, the answer is "no".
Instead of presenting a fair and objective
view of the war, the union promotes a
left-wing, ALP-friendly interpretation
Parents need only to visit the union's
website to see how biased and ideologically
driven teacher unions have become. The
website presents a range of media releases,
resolutions and bulletins all opposed
to Australia's involvement in Iraq.
The media release "Educators Oppose
Howard's War" states that Australia's
involvement is "illegal" and
that the war "is opposed by the majority
of Australians". Forget the counter
argument that our involvement is legal
and that, according to the latest Newspoll
and Morgan poll, the majority of Australians
now support our troops fighting to overthrow
The union suggests teachers, in the classroom,
should argue against military action on
the basis that the priority must be on
"the avoidance of conflict by peaceful
means and recognition of cultural and
religious diversity". Tell that to
the Kurds who have been gassed, tortured
and driven from their homes by Saddam's
The union also urges teachers to "take
action in your workplace and community"
and "support students who take an
anti-war stance". While many parents
might argue their children should not
be involved in anti-war protests, it is
clear the union believes teachers have
every right to influence students to do
South Wales Teachers Federation issued
a media release on March 20 headed "Teachers
oppose the war on Iraq". Again, there
is no attempt to present both sides of
the argument; the union states that it
"unequivocally opposes the war".
It urges teachers to attend public rallies
against the war and, in the classroom,
to tell students that the war is wrong
and that "the avoidance of conflict
and resolution of problems by peaceful
means" is the better option.
The president of the federation, Maree
O'Halloran, even goes as far as to state:
"Congratulations should be sent to
Senator Bob Brown, Andrew Bartlett and
the French ambassador for their stand
against the war."
Forget about congratulating members of
Defence Force for putting their lives
at risk or thanking the "coalition
of the willing" for seeking to overthrow
a dictator and bring freedom to an oppressed
The Victorian branch of the AEU also
presents a one-sided view of the conflict.
It advises teachers to "suspend normal
classroom instruction to read a statement
to their classes and present or undertake
a peace activity".
Teachers are also told, in relation to
war against Iraq, that "this action
is not sanctioned by the United Nations"
and that "many people in Australia
and around the world think that diplomacy
should be given more time".
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