Principal to Call Police on Bullies

MT Lawley Senior High School principal Milton Butcher says he will call police if students are again targeted by strangers who are against a program helping youngsters with bullying or questions about 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 said they were “very distressed” by two anonymous adult campaigners who yesterday put letters opposing the Federal Government-funded Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) 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.

Mr Burke was handed a three-page letter against SSCA’s voluntary teaching resource for schools, which is opposed by some right-wing members of the Federal 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 letters’ effects.

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 that allegedly can teach the program and the contact details of a WA Education Department officer to complain.

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

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.