Page 5330 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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form students were asked, “What key messages did you take away from the guest speaker?” A student wrote, “It is girls’ fault for getting raped because they dress sluttier than previous generations.”

Overall, Mr Speaker, I release the following findings and recommendations. Firstly, there is no indication that the seminars conducted at Canberra high school were inconsistent with the provisions of the Discrimination Act 1991 or the ACT Department of Education and Training providing safe schools P-12 or religious education in ACT government schools’ policies.

Secondly, it is unlikely that students would have been influenced to the extent that they would have formed the impressions stated in the complainant’s letter. Thirdly, a rigorous process of selection of this presenter was not undertaken by Canberra high school. Fourthly, the Focus on the Family seminars were not part of an education program at Canberra high school.

The following recommendations have been made: firstly, that the department develop a quality assurance process that accredits and approves outside organisations and individuals prior to their involvement with schools; secondly, that schools be required to have parental approval prior to a student attending any event conducted by a non-government organisation or individual; thirdly, that schools develop more rigorous selection processes when assessing the services of outside organisations or individuals; fourthly, that schools vet all content before an outside organisation or individual presents to students and that schools have appropriate preparation for students prior to presentations and appropriate follow-up lessons; and, fifthly, that schools evaluate and seek feedback from students and teachers after seminars and performances that have been presented by non-school staff to address any student issues or concerns.

I accept all of these findings and recommendations. It has been found that, whilst the complaint has not been upheld, better selection processes and parental consent processes should be present in ACT public schools. It remains firmly my view that parents of ACT public school students are best placed to make decisions on the nature of extracurricular content that their son or daughter will participate in. I take this opportunity to assure the Assembly that these new processes will be in place at the beginning of the 2010 school year.


Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Ms Bresnan, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Ms Bresnan be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

Protecting and prioritising vulnerable road users.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (3.02): I am very pleased to have this opportunity to discuss this matter of public importance. In some ways, this topic might sound like a

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