Christian schools support ban on LGBTIQ+ studies
Christian schools have given tentative support to a One Nation bill before NSW parliament that would ban the teaching of trans and gender diversity in classrooms.
Introduced by One Nation Upper House MLC Mark Latham, the bill has attracted widespread condemnation from the LGBTIQ+ community, which believes it will harm students.
However, Mr Latham said he believed the move towards giving parents greater control over what was taught in the classroom would receive strong support in the education sector - especially in non-government schools.
Among the first to go public was Christian Schools Australia, declaring it supported many aspects of the bill, including giving more opportunities for parents to have greater involvement and input into what goes on at school.
Its public policy director Mark Spencer said the principles on which the NSW Education Act were based included acknowledging "the education of a child is primarily the responsibility of the … parents".
He said Christian schools had always acknowledged the foundational Biblical role of parents in their children's education.
He said education was at its best when a school worked in partnership with the family and, in many cases, with the church community with which it was associated.
Should students be taught about gender issues?
This poll ended on 19 September 2020.
Yes. It will promote more tolerance
No. Leave it to parents
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Mr Spencer said the object of the bill was "to clarify that parents and not schools are primarily responsible for the development and formation of their children" and "to provide that schools should not usurp the role of parents", saying these were "important principles we would strongly support". "As Christian schools, we want parents to choose our schools for the education of their children because of the values and beliefs we espouse and model," he said.
"If (the bill) serves to provide more opportunities for parents to have greater involvement and input into schools, this can only be a positive outcome."
Speaking to the Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 in parliament last month, Mr Latham said its purpose was to "outlaw gender fluidity teaching, course development and teacher training" in the state's education system.
Welcoming the Christian Schools Australia comments, Mr Latham said he expected other non-government school systems to express support for his bill when a parliamentary inquiry into the proposed legislation began hearings next year.
He said parents had recently gained a heightened awareness of what was being taught in schools from having become involved in online learning, with many "surprised" at some of the content, "especially political material and the weakening of academic standards".
"Parents should know in advance what is being taught in the classroom and, as a basic human right, they should be able to withdraw their child from classes that contradict their family's values," he said.
Originally published as Christian schools support ban on LGBTIQ+ studies