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Sky News criticised over a report targeting a Perth teacher who is transgender

St Hilda’s, a private Anglican school in Perth has defended its teaching and staff after an extraordinary report from Sky News targeted an individual staff member who is transgender.

The report from Sky News Senior Reporter Caroline Marcus shared that some parents had been upset that the school had employed a maths teacher who is transgender, naming the teacher and providing details to where she could be found on social media.

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The report claims the teacher “admonished a classroom of students after one used the term “sir” instead of “Miss”. Before going on to claim that the school has introduced “gender lessons” and held assemblies that featured LGBTIQA+ content that were not live streamed as some assemblies at the school are.

Sky News says the concerns about the teachers’ employment and classroom content has been raised by anonymous parents, and it has been introduced under the watch of principal Fiona Johnston who is described as “progressive”. The broadcaster says alongside the transgender teacher, another unnamed employee at the school is non-binary.

A spokesperson for the school to OUTinPerth that St Hilda’s prides itself on providing an inclusive and contemporary teaching and learning environment.

“Our approach to all that we do is underpinned by the School’s values of Excellence, Belonging, Authenticity and Imagination, which apply to both staff and students.

“Our School is an equal opportunity employer with recruitment and employment practices that comply with all Commonwealth and State legislation. Out of respect to our staff, parents and students, St Hilda’s does not provide comment, nor judge a person, on their religious beliefs, sexuality, race or any other characteristics that relate to their identity and sense of who they are. Our overriding priority in assessing individual staff members is the quality of teaching they provide to our students.

“Information of a personal nature is not disclosed about our community to our community, in line with Australia’s Privacy Laws.”

The school said is follows the approved Western Australian curriculum and assessment standards.

“Our School adheres strictly to the school curriculum and assessment standards as specified by WA’s School Curriculum and Standards Authority.

“The School Council continues to engage with the independent Parents and Friends Association to finalise its representation on Council.

“St Hilda’s continues to enjoy strong enrolments and the support of its community.” the spokesperson said.

Activist group Australian’s Women Forum have revealed that they worked with Sky News to bring the report to air. The group campaigns against transgender rights and is currently lobbying Western Australian politicians to reject changes to the Gender Reassignment Board which are being considered by parliament.

The group’s leader Rachel Wong is quoted in the Sky News article saying, “If things are as bad as they are at the moment with males identifying as women and making them uncomfortable and accessing their spaces, it’s going to be much worse once sex self-ID is embedded into law,” Wong said.

Billionaire Gina Rinehart says school are too woke

Parents who are concerned about the employment of the teacher have been backed by billionaire Gina Rinehart who is a graduate of the school and sent her daughters there as well.

Rinehart told the broadcaster she’s like to see the establishment of an Australian group akin to the USA’s ‘Moms for America’ to fight ‘wokeness’.

“I had the pleasure of meeting with the head of Moms for America while I was in the USA this year, an organisation concerned principally about what is being taught to kids in schools,” Rinehart told Sky News.

“Moms for America, like the St Hilda’s school parents, are raising their concerns about school curriculums and what’s being taught to their children.

“They are increasingly concerned with the woke, anti-American and similar propaganda that is lessening their kids’ education. Mothers in the USA are standing up in increasing numbers across the country to complain to the schools’ teachers, principals and school boards to try and get this rectified. Like the St Hilda’s parents are doing for their children at St Hilda’s.

Rinehart said she’d like to see a third of the Australian school curriculum being dropped.

“I understand a rough estimate is that woke, anti-Australia and similar propaganda takes up approximately one-third of the school curriculums in Australia. So yes, if you are concerned about your children and grandchildren being exposed to such things instead of facts, logic, and reason, it’s time to have a Mum for Australia start and flourish here.” Rinehart said.

The US group was previously named Homemakers for America and has links to right wing Christian groups. They have been accused of being a major player in pushing voter suppression, election denialism, attacks on public schools and COVID-19 misinformation in the USA.

Petition calls for an apology and retraction of the article

A new petition launched at Change.org calls on Sky News to retract the article and for the broadcaster and Rinehart to issue and apology.

“The report spreads dangerous misinformation and transphobia. It encourages families to take action against the school which are right-wing and transphobic.” the petition states.

“Sky News Australia consistently uses it’s media power to attack and demonise minorities and act as a fearmonger for average Australians. They prioritise  reporting their conservative ideologies over fact, to deliberately misinform the public.”

 

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