Petitions gather over 70,000 signatures supporting Safe Schools

Janet Rice

The Australian Greens are preparing to table two petitions in parliament showing public support for the Safe Schools Coalition program. The petitions have amassed over 70,000 signatories.

The first petition is from the Greens and second is from international LGBTIQ advocacy group All Out. Together the two documents total more 70,000 signatures supporting Safe Schools.

The petitions were launched in response to Senator Cory Bernardi’s petition of 9499 that lead to the Prime Minister calling for an investigation into the program.

Greens sexuality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said the two petitions reflected the worldwide support for the program.

“This petition sends a clear message to the government that tens of thousands of Australians and people from around the world support the important work of the Safe Schools Coalition. The program reminds young people dealing with their sexuality that they are not alone. It creates happier and safer school yards and would have made a huge difference to me as a teenager,” Senator Simms said.

“It is time for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to stand up to the arch conservatives on his back bench and support the Safe Schools program like so many Australians do.”

Senator Simms colleague Janet Rice (pictured) said the program was essential in combating the high suicide rates among young LGBTIQ+ people.

“When 1 in 5 transgender young people experience physical abuse and 1 in 3 consider suicide, the attacks we’ve seen on the Safe Schools program could have tragic consequences,” Senator Rice said.

“Malcolm Turnbull must start acting in the interests of these young people instead of the dark recesses of his party room.”

Last week Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ordered a review of the program after several backbench MP’s argued that the program’s main goal was not reducing bullying but converting students to accepting an LGBTIQ ideology.

Subsequently National’s MP George Christensen spoke in parliament arguing that the program was similar to a pedophile grooming an intended victim. Mr Christensen said the program encouraged students to go to a series of weblinks where they may eventually access sadomasochistic content, information about sex toys and addresses of adult sex clubs.

The review of the program is being carried out by Western Australian professors Bill Louden and Donna Cross. The results of their investigation are due in mid March. The Prime Minister has committed to making their findings public.

 

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