Just.Equal calls for end to sacking of LGBTIQA+ teachers in WA

Advocacy group, Just Equal, has again called on the McGowan Government to change the law and stop discrimination against LGBTIQ+ teachers in faith schools.

The call comes after it was reported in The West Australian that another teacher has lost his job following homophobic harassment at a church school.

The drama teacher, whose identity has not been revealed, shared that he had been ‘outed’ by students through a cruel “Guess Who” game on social media app TikTok where students posted accusations that he was gay.

Posted anonymously, the posts included the school’s crest, the name of the teacher’s house group, comedy and drama masks, followed by the Pride flag and a picture of a muscled male torso. Followers were then prompted to speculate which teacher the post was about.

The teacher has called for more to be done to protect teachers from cyberbullying instigated by their own students.

“The onus is on the Catholic system to back their teachers and to protect them and to believe them when these incidents are happening,” he said.

“More often than not, these kids will get a slap on the wrist, they might get a suspension… but do they really understand the effects that these incidents have on teachers and staff and education assistants?” the teacher told The West Australian.

A Catholic Education WA spokesperson said it strongly believed in respecting the dignity of every human person and condemned harassment of any nature, for any reason.

WA spokesperson, Brian Greig, said the special religious exceptions that allowed this discrimination in WA are the worst of their kind anywhere in the country and had been banned in several states.

“This discrimination has been outlawed in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT.

“It continues to thrive in WA because the state government has does nothing to stop it despite years of protest.

“In 2015, a seven year old girl was pushed from Foundation Christian College in Mandurah because it discovered she was being raised by two gay dads.

“In 2017, History and English teacher, Mr Craig Campbell, was dumped from his job at South Coast Baptist College, Rockingham, when it found out he is gay.

“As Opposition Leader, Mr McGowan said the state law which allowed this discrimination “was wrong and should be changed”, however, as Premier he has done nothing to remedy this.

Greig said that he and other rainbow community members had meet with Labor MPs and with Attorney General John Quigley several times over the last six years to press for law reform, but were given excuses as to why the government was reluctant to act.

“Labor MPs blamed both the inability to get law reform through the conservative upper house, and the threat of the Morrison Government’s federal Religious Discrimination Bill as blockages to reform.

“However, Mr McGowan now has control of both houses of parliament and the Morrison Bill to override state anti-discrimination law is off the table.

“The new Albanese Labor Government has promised it will protect gay students and teachers.”

“With no more blockages to progress this overdue reform, we again call on parliament to catch up with other states.

“We call on Premier McGowan to fulfil his pledge to end this discrimination,” Greig said.

In 2018, polling by YouGov Galaxy found 78 per cent of voters believe religious schools should not be entitled to taxpayer funding if they discriminate against LGBTIQ+ teachers and students.

OIP Staff

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