CONCERN ABOUT PARTIAL PROTECTION FOR STUDENTS AND LACK OF PROTECTION FOR TEACHERS

Equality advocates have called on federal parliament to not rush legislation to stop LGBTI students being expelled from religious schools, saying students should be protected in all aspects of school life and that staff should also be protected.

Just.equal spokesperson, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, said,

“The leaked Government proposal may stop LGBTI kids from being expelled but could leave room for schools to perpetrate other forms of discrimination such as blocking students from taking same-sex partners to schools formals or even from taking openly about their sexuality or gender identity.”

“This proposal is effectively a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy that establishes an insidious new form of intolerance at a critical point in the lives of our children.”

“The proposal also fails to protect LGBTI teachers and parents from discrimination, which is a major shortcoming.”

“The optimal learning environment for LGBTI students is one in which there is no discrimination against them or other LGBTI people in the school community.”

“We call on Parliament not to rush into this reform and to ensure there is adequate consultation with all stakeholders.”

Mr Hinton-Teoh said the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act already prevents discrimination by religious schools against LGBTI students, teachers and parents, and that the ACT Government has committed to passing a similar law.

“The Federal Government should bring national discrimination laws up to the standard set in Tasmania and soon the ACT.”