I realise you’re a busy man. And so I didn’t expect you to respond to the letter I wrote you, about your Safe Schools TV segment.
However, I did get responses from many other people. And one common response warrants further exploration.
I made the allegation that Safe Schools Coalition wasn’t merely an anti-bullying programme, but was pushing a (contested) worldview.
And the common response was this:
“The Safe Schools Coalition is not pushing a particular worldview: they’re just helping students accept that people are different.”
This was best articulated by ‘Paul’ in his comment on my blog:
‘* It’s not a “particular” view of sexuality that is one of many alternatives. It is simply a reasonable and secular view of sexual diversity that accepts people are different. It is the only view you can expect to be promoted in a secular public school system.’
In other words, Safe Schools isn’t pushing a view of sexuality (and gender), as I alleged: they’re merely saying that ‘people are different: they have different sexualities, and we need to accept that’.
Charlie, that sounds so neutral, doesn’t it? How can anyone disagree?
And yet, on closer inspection, there really is an embedded view of sexual morality/gender ideology underlying the Safe Schools Coalition.
The Uncontroversial Bits
Gender Confusion and The Diversity of Sexual Desire
There’s no doubt that some students report experiencing innate sexual desire of a ‘non-heterosexual’ kind: same-sex, bi-sexual, pan-sexual desire, and so on.
And some students report being confused about their gender.
The Safe Schools Coalition highlight this reality in their material.
If Safe Schools only taught the reality of these experiences (for the sake of preventing bullying), there wouldn’t be nearly as much controversy.
However, the Safe Schools Coalition teach a lot more than ‘mere facts’: they also teach a worldview, a morality, an ideology about sexuality and gender.
Where It Gets Controversial
The Worldview of Safe Schools
After expressing the reality of gender confusion and diverse sexual desires, the Safe Schools Coalition then make the following points:
Do you see the difference, Charlie?
It’s one thing to say ‘gender confusion/diverse sexual desires’ are a fact of life; it’s another thing to say they’re good.
Saying something is ‘good’ is a worldview statement: we’ve left the neutrality of ‘physical facts’, and have now entered the contested world of morality/ideology/beliefs.
(Like much religion).
And it’s this morality/ideology/beliefs that’s promoted by the Safe Schools Coalition.
That’s where the controversy lies.
An Important Clarification
People must not be bullied, whatever their worldview
Now obviously, you and many of your viewers will have no problem with the Safe Schools worldview.
And no-one should be bullied for holding to, or acting on their worldview. Any such bullying is completely and utterly unacceptable (and I think Christians need to do better at caring for our LGBTIQ friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues).
But Don’t Take My Word on This
Hear what one of the architects of Safe Schools has to say
You don’t have to read much of the Safe Schools Coalition material to realise this worldview is embedded throughout.
In fact, one of the chief architects of Safe Schools, Roz Ward, has admitted as much. The Australian newspaper reported a speech she did:
Railing against a “push to fit people into gender constructs that promote heterosexuality’’ at a Marxist conference in Melbourne last year, she alluded that Safe Schools was part of a broader strategy to change society.
“Programs like the Safe Schools Coalition are making some difference but we’re still a long way from liberation,’’ she said. “Marxism offers the hope and the strategy needed to create a world where human sexuality, gender and how we relate to our bodies can blossom in extraordinarily new and amazing ways that we can only try to imagine today.” [emphasis mine].
Doesn’t intellectual honesty compel us to say that the Safe Schools Coalition is more than merely an anti-bullying programme’?
Is There a Better Way to Stop Bullying?
There is: it’s Called the ‘Safe Schools Hub’ (yes, really)
You might not know this, but there’s already a Commonwealth government funded anti-bullying program, called the ‘Safe Schools Hub’ (not to be mistaken for the Safe Schools Coalition – confusing, I know). You should check it out: it’s a really good thing for schools to sign up to:
- No contested worldviews;
- No Gender Ideology;
- Just anti-bullying (how about that?).
I wonder if this might be a better way ahead to stop the bullying of all students, making schools safe for #allofus?