Mt Lawley school parents targeted by campaigners against Safe Schools program

MT Lawley Senior High School principal Milton Butcher says he may call police if strangers again target students while campaigning against a program to help youngsters who are questioning their sexuality.

“It is unreasonable for adult campaigners to approach children, some as young as 12 years of age, on their way to or from school,” Mr Butcher said.

He said some students reported they were “very distressed” by two anonymous adult campaigners who placed letters opposing the Federal Government-funded Safe Schools Coalition Australia program on parents’ vehicles at the school’s drop-off zone.

“Police may be asked to assist in any situation where students are approached by strangers,” Mr Butcher said.

Some Year 7 students are understood to have reacted by loudly asking the campaigners to leave their school.

“Lovely fear-mongering propaganda, as it’s obviously OK to allow non-heterosexual students to be bullied and feel suicidal for not ‘being normal’ under the ‘Christian values’ this letter purports to represent,” parent Miles Burke (46) said, about the letters.

He was handed a three-page letter against SSCA’s voluntary teaching resource for schools, which is opposed by some right-wing members of the Liberal Party and Christian groups.

Mr Burke said he was aware of parents and students who identify as gay at the school, and he was concerned about the effect of the letter.

The letter claimed the SSCA program for students to discuss gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues included descriptions of gay and lesbian sexual techniques, Year 7 transgender role playing and encouraged students to campaign for same-sex marriage.

“Don’t be silent and stand up for Christian values because today’s children are the future society of tomorrow!” the letter said.

It listed 24 Perth schools which allegedly could teach the program, and how to contact a WA Education Department officer to complain about it.

A fortnight ago, Education Minister Peter Collier said only four of WA’s 800 schools were using parts of the program, and two complaints about it had been received.

Mr Collier said while some of the program did show “some empathy” for sexuality |discussion, other parts, including asking Year 7s about not having genitalia, were “quite edgy”.

The program would not be banned, and campaigners on school property would be removed.