Curriculum review bad news for LGBTI students
The Education Minister Chris Pyne has announced a review of Julia Gillard/Kevin Rudd’s national curriculum. Pyne has appointed two strongly vocal critics of Labor’s education policy to head up the overhaul, Kevin Donnelly and Ken Wiltshire.
Donnelly’s appointment has set off alarm bells with LGBTI advocates who cite his appalling record on the draft, health and physical education curriculum (which ignores the issues faced by LGBTI young people, including homophobia, transphobia and bullying and fails to reference HIV and STIs). Plus recent comments which are alarmingly homophobic and racist.
On the Education Institute website, Donnelley said he "favours an education system based on standards, equity, diversity and choice and the values and institutions that promote liberty, democracy, an open and free society and a commitment to Christian beliefs and values".
Donnelley’s Christian beliefs run to deriding LGBTI families.
In an online opinion piece, Donnelley is quoted as saying: "In recent years several education groups have sought to introduce gay, lesbian and transgender studies in the classroom and to convince schoolchildren that such practices, along with being heterosexual, are simply lifestyle choices open to all” he goes on to ask why are teachers normalising practices that many parents would consider unnatural.
Jed Horner, Policy and Project Officer at the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby said it’s important community members are made aware of Donnelly’s past statements.
"The move to heavily politicise aspects of the curriculum, specifically in the area of health and physical education, is dangerous, unprecedented, and unwarranted,” said Horner.
“In our view, this approach undermines Australia’s historic response to HIV, and denies young Australians the ability to explore their sexual orientation in a safe, and supported, way."