Australian Services Union stands behind Safe Schools
One of Australia’s largest unions, the Australian Services Union (ASU) has come out in support of the LGBTI anti-bullying program, Safe Schools, following the Turnbull government’s announcement of a review of the support service.
The program is delivered by dedicated frontline ASU members in NGOs including SHine SA in South Australia and the Foundation for Young Australians nationally.
In a meeting of the National Executive today, (ASU) SA + NT Branch Secretary Joseph Scales moved that the Union become a supporter organisation for the Safe Schools program, which aims to make school more inclusive for LGBTI young people.
“The ASU is sending a strong message that we will stand up against homophobia and transphobia whenever and wherever we see or hear it,” Scales said.
“We are proud to support Safe Schools Coalition Australia and its work to create positive change for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families.”
Scales criticised the Turnbull government’s review of the program which he described as a vital service that had saved lives.
“This is a critical program delivered by frontline ASU members in NGOs who are working hard to safeguard the schooling experience for some of the most at risk students and families.”
Scales suggested the review of Safe Schools was not only putting young LGBTI people at risk but had increased pressures on those workers on the frontline.
“Frighteningly, what we’re now experiencing is reports of these frontline workers, as well as teachers and public servants, coping abuse and hate mail for their roles in delivering the support program.
“We now have abusive behaviour perpetuated beyond the school yard and extended to the professionals and workers who are trying to combat just that. This is the very real consequence of the Turnbull Government’s narrative which constantly seeks to marginalise and isolate minority communities. “
It's not the first occasion the ASU has stood up to bullies. IT ran stampout bullying campaign in 2014.