Daniel Andrews and wife Catherine lead Melbourne Pride March on 9 Dec last year @abc – Daniel Andrews has now cut ties with Safe Schools founder, Roz Ward

Melbourne, December 20: Last week saw adamant Daniel Andrews’ cutting ties with controversial Safe Schools founder, Roz Ward, after the program come under fire from a greater part of the Indian community, when Bharat Times published its November 2016 cover story – ‘How Unsafe is Safe Schools program?’.

The tax-payer funded Safe Schools program claiming to help schools combat homophobia and transphobia, “is quite the contrary – it will socially engineer young minds with unproven fringe academic ideas,” wrote Dinesh Malhotra, founding editor of Bharat Times.

When Bharat Times contacted Indian community leaders and members in early November, many community leaders expressed shock and dismay with the government’s decision to make it compulsory for all government secondary schools in Victoria.

“I am sure no politician would want their own children attending kindergarten to have to listen to this kind of rubbish. Why would I not have a say in this?” asked Mr Singh, who once very active in local politics, did not want BT to reveal his full name.

“There is no shortage of homosexual, gay or lesbian sex material in ancient Indian cultural history”, says Dr TK Kapoor who has special interest in Indian history and Kamasutra.

“The problem with the program is its age appropriateness.

“There is pure harm in my view in exposing such fragile minds to such graphical detail and certainly no benefit.

“It should never be introduced at primary school level; it should be only voluntary for secondary schools where they may have sizeable student population from LGBTI background. There too, parents of non-LGBTI children should be guaranteed the right to opt-in or opt-out of it.”

Mr Yogen Lakshman, AIII Trustee, was the only community leader who supported the Safe Schools program. He however said, “One thing has to be implemented in my view – the parents should have the final say and be the ultimate decision maker for all children – primary or secondary school age”.

Even people from within LGBTI community and support groups, believed that the Victorian model needed “some improvements”.

The 2015 Tasmanian Australian of the Year Rodney Croome, a prominent gay rights advocate said that it needed to be “properly evaluated” and “anecdotal evidence and self-administered school ‘audits” were not enough to ensure renewed funding.

The current program does not require for parents to be consulted or even informed about the nature of material that could be taught to children.

Earlier this year the Federal Government had moved to amend the program after concerns were raised by MPs and community about ‘some’ of the material in it.

The Victorian government’s last week decision to cut ties with the controversial founder of Safe Schools program, Ms Roz Ward; is essentially a step forward to revamp the current program and removal of controversial and radical materials included within it.

Education Minister James Merlino said the Department of Education would take over the running of the anti-bullying program, ending its contract with La Trobe University six months early.

“I took the view that it’s better to hit the ground running at term one of next year rather than making this change midway through the year.

“This is a universal anti-bullying program. Now that the program is being delivered in some 60 per cent of government secondary schools, we’re scaling it up.”

The move to disassociate radical theorist, Ms Ward may help to preserve the integrity of a program – that is tackling bullying and homophobia.

Initially designed to create an invaluable inclusive society for the young; the Safe Schools material has instead become more of ‘rainbow agenda’, to indoctrinate young minds with fringe radical theories about gender and sexuality.

Pope Francis of the Vatican recently referred to the “wickedness” that results from indoctrination in gender theory in schools.

“I heard from a French father who was speaking with his children at the table … and asked his ten year-old son, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?.

‘A girl!’… he was told

“The father realised that the schoolbooks taught gender theory, and this goes against nature. It is one thing that a person has this tendency, this option; and even those who change sex.

“It is another thing to teach along this line in schools, to change the mentality. This I would call ideological colonisation,” the Pope said.

Ms Ward’s views and her initiative in including the teaching resource – All Of Us, has been termed as ‘too radical about gender and sexuality’.

Ms Ward being at the helm of Safe Schools program has also been perceived as the program being used as a cover to promote gender ideology – like fluidity of gender, transitioning, concept of “two virginities” and more, by organisations like Marriage Alliance and Australia Christina Lobby.

The Safe Schools shake-up with the take-over of the program by the Government’s Education Department would make it easier for the policy to be strengthened and expanded across the education system.

Mr Merlino’s confirmation that the government would periodically review and improve resources – would mean that the Education Department would have larger responsibility, rather than a radical team of academics.

It must be noted that the program’s materials itself has not yet undergone any changes, which are perceived as ‘indoctrination on young minds,’ by many.

But with the first step of removal of Ms Ward, from an otherwise invaluable anti- bullying program and a take-over by the Department, parents should now be able to provide feedback to their child’s school and the Department directly, on the nature of material included within the program.

The taxpayer funded program, currently perceived as a pretentious anti-bullying program to indoctrinate the rainbow agenda in young minds, should actually only limit itself to being an anti-bullying program.

Picture books, Such as The Gender Fairy, recommended for primary school libraries by Safe Schools SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO TELL CHILDREN that ‘no one can tell them if they are a boy or girl’.

With the 2018 elections not far away, this government decision should pave the way for removal of radical material and unevaluated and unproven fringe academic ideas that would ‘social engineer’ young children.

Ramakrishna VenuGopal

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