Labor supports anti-discrimination bill for Private Schools
NSW Labor has thrown its support behind Sydney Independent Alex Greenwich’s private member bill to remove exemptions which allow private schools to discriminate against students based on sexual orientation, transgender, marital or domestic status, disability and pregnancy.
Labor's education spokeswoman Carmel Tebbutt told the SMH, Labor had decided against a conscience vote and would support the bill outright when it came time to vote.
"The vast majority of non-government schools do the right thing and do not discriminate against students. However, consultation undertaken by Alex Greenwich MP has highlighted some examples of students who have had poor experiences or been subject to bullying at school," she said.
"Labor believes it is important to support this bill to demonstrate our support for tolerance and diversity and to send a clear message that discrimination against any student is unacceptable.”
Greenwich commented Labor’s support for the Bill would ensure there was robust debate of the issue and he hoped it would encourage coalition members to also voice their support.
Greenwich said: “Ending discrimination against vulnerable students should be above politics, and something that concerns all members of parliament and the wider community.”
Greenwich said many students had shared harrowing stories of discrimination with him: "From threats of expulsion because of sexuality to sending students to a counsellor weekly to "fix their sexuality" and overt bullying in the classroom, the experiences some students are allowed to go through is appalling and it is time the law allowed these students access to the Anti-Discrimination Board"