Mandurah school threatens to expel student for having gay parent

fccA Mandurah school has reportedly told a gay man that his daughter would be expelled if other parents at her school complained about him being gay.

The Mandurah Mail has shared the story of a Brendan, whose 7 year old daughter attends Foundation Christian College. The Mandurah Mail’s Nathan Hondros reported that the young girls father has said that the school has told him that his daughter would not have been accepted into the school if they had been aware that he was gay.

Brendan (who has asked that his last name is kept confidential) and his ex-wife were called to the school to discuss their daughters behaviour after she mentioned that he father was gay. The school has reportedly told the parents that the young girl may not mention her father’s sexuality or his partner while she was at school.

“We were asked to go into a meeting that we thought would be about her education and how she was going in class to be told that [my daughter] had mentioned I’m gay,” he said.

“I was told that they don’t promote ‘gay’ at the school and [my daughter] was unable to talk about my life between [my partner] and me and general stuff about what a kid talks about with her parents.

“She could mention my name, but she couldn’t talk about us being gay or relating to us as a couple, so pretty much to a seven-year-old, we were forced to say to [my daughter] that she wasn’t allowed to talk about Daddy or [my partner] at all.” Brendan told the Mandurah Mail.

The school’s principal allegedly said that if a another parent complained about daughter with a gay parent being in the class, she would be asked to leave the school.

The parents decided to relocate their daughter to a public school rather than have face the constant fear of expulsion.

The school’s Principal Mr Andrew Newhouse, who is a former political candidate for the Family First party, has defended the school’s policy and denied the family were driven from the school.

Mr Newhouse said the parents had not been open with the school when they enrolled their daughter.

“When the father submitted his application for enrollment, he did so with his ex-wife as part of the process,” he said in a statement provided to the Mandurah Mail.

“Knowing that the college would not endorse an application from same-sex parents, I find there is not openness from the parent’s point of view.” Mr Newhouse said.

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Education Minister Peter Collier said that the Department of Education has not received any complaints relating to the matter.

“There has been no complaint made to the State Government or the Department of Education Services regarding Foundation Christian College. Without knowing the facts I cannot comment on this particular case.” Mr Collier said.

The Education Minister said any complaint would need to be investigated by the state’s Equal Opportunity Commissioner.

Conrad Liveris, who is a director at GLBTI Rights in Ageing (GRAI) – a community group that works with the conservative and religious aged-care sector on sexuality issues – has described the school as being out of line.

Writing for WA Today Mr Liveris said the school would be better off focusing on being inclusive rather than creating division.

“Having taking a narrow and intolerant view of the bible, the school is out of line. When I was taught about Christianity it was impressed upon me that the teachings of the bible promoted acceptance and that god favoured tolerance and community harmony over division.” Mr Liveris said.

OIP Staff

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