How’s this for bizarre? On July 23 last year the Australian Christian Lobby’s Queensland spokeswoman, Wendy Francis, lodged a petition with the Queensland parliament complaining about the Safe Schools program and asking that it be removed from government schools. It was the second largest petition put to that parliament.
The Safe Schools curriculum, as revealed by The Australian, is a radical form of sex education under the guise of an anti-bullying program. To define the complaint about the program it was necessary to quote from resources used in the program.
So the following material from a Safe Schools student resource, OMG I’m Queer, was incorporated into the original petition lodged with the Queensland parliament: “It may come as a surprise, but there is no strict definition for virginity, especially if you’re queer. Penis-in-vagina sex is not the only sex, and certainly not the ultimate sex. If you ask me, virginity is whatever you think it is.”
The Clerk of the Parliament censored this from the Queensland parliament’s e-petition website because it contained “intemperate” language.
“In accordance with standing orders, petitions must be respectful, decorous and temperate and not contain any unparliamentary language or otherwise offend any rule or practice of the house.”
The wording of the petition was amended accordingly.
So, this quotation is considered “intemperate language” in a parliamentary setting but is considered suitable reading for schoolchildren aged 11 and up.
Many Queensland parents didn’t think so. And that is not all. Some of the material, especially that provided by the associated Minus 18 website, is too graphic to pass school firewalls, and students are urged to ask teachers to unblock it. This means a federal education program is advising schools to allow changes to their firewall protection. Parents may be interested in that one.
Why is it that the line, “virginity is whatever you think it is” made me think of former US President Bill Clinton?
Anyway the first part of the story is quite funny. If it weren’t inappropriate we might suggest that our Parliamentarians harden up. But no sniggering and minds out the gutter.
The second part of the story demands an explanation from Senator Birmingham – the federal education minister; why is a federal government funded school program requiring students to ask their schools to relax firewall protections so that school children can access sexually explicit material on the internet?