Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 24 August 2017) . . Page.. 3308 ..
These are not the children of bigots or homophobes. In fact these students were given written permission by their parents to participate in discussions of safe schools material in their school, specifically because the parents strongly believe in accepting everyone as they are. These students, however, have refused to return to their classes because they feel unsafe there, and rightly so.
When a teacher asks a 13-year-old girl to fantasise about being sexually attracted to another girl, this is overt sexualisation. One could even accurately call it grooming. This is not an issue of same sex versus opposite sex. Requiring young people to experiment with sexual attraction of any kind has no place in our classrooms. I ask members of this Assembly to consider carefully these words of one student:
I have been told my whole life that people don’t have a right to touch my body in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable, so why is it okay for a teacher to touch my mind in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable in the exact same way?
The Safe Schools Coalition’s resources violate young students. The Crimes Act makes sexual intercourse with a person who is under 16 years of age a punishable offence specifically because we believe children should have a right for their innocence to be protected from overt sexualisation. And then we let teachers in our schools ask 13-year-old girls to fantasise about having sexual intercourse. This does not add up.
Clearly, the government needs to respect children’s rights and the role of parents by seeking parental consent in regard to any such programs or resources. Parents have a right to know in detail the content of any resources used. They cannot protect their children without knowing. Only by following these principles will we have a program for all of our Canberra youth, and only then will we truly have safe and inclusive schools.
University of Canberra—annual report
Motion (by Mr Pettersson, by leave) agreed to:
That, noting the standing order 246A statement of the Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs on 8 June 2017, the resolution of the Assembly of 16 February 2017 which referred specified annual and financial reports for the calendar years 2015 and 2016 and the financial year 2015-2016 to standing committees be amended by omitting all references to the University of Canberra.
Total facilities management contract
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (10.22): On 9 June 2016 I tabled the government’s response to the Auditor-General’s report on the maintenance of public housing, report