Experts have enjoyed a new policy developed by Catholic schools to combat transphobic and homophobic bullying as a â€œterrific resource,â€ saying that demonstrates the Safety messages to Schools program are incompatible with the religious education.
â€œSafe and inclusive learning communityâ€ the policy was developed by Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA), the education arm of the Christian Brothers, which operates more than 50 Catholic schools in Australia.
The policy states that schools have the responsibility to provide a â€œsafe and inclusive learning environments for all students, in particular, for same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people, and argues that the position is supported from scripture and from Pope Francis in his Joy of the Love of the address in March 2016.
â€œOur school has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that each student receives an education free from discrimination and bullying regardless of their sexual orientation and gender,â€ the policy of the united states. â€œMost importantly, Edmund Rice compels us to give particular attention to young people who might otherwise be excluded and rejected.â€
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EREA executive director Wayne Tinsey, has said that the position paper has been developed to â€œhelp ensure safe, inclusive school community where all students felt safe and protected from bullyingâ€.
Victoria Rawlings, a professor of education at the University of Sydney and an expert of homophobic, transphobic and sexualised bullying in schools, said the EREA position statement was a â€œstep in the right directionâ€ and drawn from the same research as the Safe Schools Coalition, which was derided by conservatives as extreme and incompatible with the denominational schools.
â€œCatholic schools, like religious organizations, are currently exempt from anti-discrimination legislation,â€ Rawlings told Guardian Australia. â€œIt is important to recognize why at the same time means that this group of schools has been progressive in the assumption of a position that focuses on the well-being of LGBTIQ students. The key thing now is the implementation of this declaration in a significant way the impact on school cultures that have often been exclusion in the past.â€
Rawlings has said that the Catholic culture and Christian schools had not traditionally welcoming of gender and sexually diverse students and the schools themselves, usually in front of a refusal on the part of the parents and of the media, when they tried to address the gap.
The policy issued by EREA get some public criticism, providing questions and answers for teachers who feel they should not discuss sex and sexuality in schools, think the subjects are too controversial, believe that there are LGBTI students in their class, meet with parents, and with aspects â€œto confuse the sexual identity of their children, or are accused of promoting a â€œhomosexual agendaâ€.
It also ensures that teaches that would not be fired, if he came out as LGBTI.
La Trobe University, Dr Tim Jones said that the declaration was â€œbrilliantâ€ and â€œought to be a reason of embarrassment for the governmentâ€, which was concluded following a review of Safety in Schools Coalition in 2016 that its resources â€œmay not be suitable for use in some of the denominational schoolsâ€.
â€œCatholic schools are an assumption of leadership in which the government does not,â€ Jones said.
He said that intensive criticism of the Catholic school in the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse had made them more proactive in the provision of a child-safe environment.
â€œIt doesn’t surprise me that, in particular Catholic education, who has had to do with sexual violence of all types, for over a decade, it would be particularly motivated to reduce sexual violence in form of bullying in schools,â€ said Jones. â€œI think it is not a surprise that the Christian Brothers education, which has done most of the work.â€
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The federal funding for the Safe Schools Coalition will cease at the end of this year.
The Safe Schools Coalition director, Craig Comrie, said that the resources have been designed to be adapted and applied in this manner on the part of the teachers and the school community.
â€œThe design of the program is very similar to our own,â€ Comrie said. â€œI think that this is an example that clearly we are able to deal with these issues in different school environments throughout the community, and also for the fact that teachers and directors have a duty of care to provide a safe learning environment.â€