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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 386 asked in the Legislative Council on 16 May 2018 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 16 May 2018

SAFE SCHOOLS PROGRAM
      386. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Education and Training:
I refer to comments made by Safe Schools program creator and self-proclaimed Marxist Roz Ward that the ''Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual diversity � Not about stopping bullying.'' Given the controversial nature of this program and the calls from parents for it to be scrapped, I ask —
      (1) Why does the state government continue to support the use of this program in Western Australian schools?
      (2) Does the education minister believe it is appropriate for students to be taught a program that exposes them to sexually explicit adult content, promotes radical queer and gender theory, downplays the consequences of sexually transmitted infections and encourages gender transitioning even without parental consent?
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of this question.
      (1) Please refer to Legislative Council question on notice 835 answered on 10 April 2018. It is a school decision taken in consultation with the school community whether resources are required or used.
      (2) The content of the Safe Schools material was modified in 2016 following a review by Professor Bill Louden, Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Western Australia. I support this review of the Safe Schools program content, which was based on the considerable educational expertise of Professor Louden. In Western Australia, public secondary school membership and engagement with the Safe Schools Coalition Australia is voluntary, and all the services and resources are used at the discretion of each school. The McGowan government is committed to the continued provision of professional learning and support to principals, teachers and support staff to understand the individual needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex students in public secondary schools.