Advocates have called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to “put his money where his mouth is” and commit to funding LGBTI safety and inclusion programs in schools.
Mr Turnbull announced this week that March 16 will be a national day of action against bullying in schools.
He has written to the principals of every school across the country urging them to tackle school bullying.
“We believe all students have the right to be safe at school. Bullying and violence has no place in Australia,” he wrote.
“This is our chance to stand together. Together we can reduce the incidence of bullying, whether inside the school gate or online, and eliminate it wherever we can.”
Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said young LGBTI young people continue to experience higher-than-average levels of prejudice, discrimination and harassment.
“With the end of funding to Safe Schools, it’s up to the Federal Government to work with the states to develop an alternative that continues to make schools safer and more inclusive for LGBTI students,” he said.
“The solution is funded programs that specifically raise awareness about LGBTI issues, not just generic programs that tell students to be nice and polite.
“Mr Turnbull should put his money where his mouth is and fund programs that will actually reduce bullying in schools, including bullying against LGBTI students.”
Mr Croome said the inclusive schools program funded by the Liberal Government in his home state of Tasmania could be used as a national model.
“The Tasmanian inclusive schools program has tri-partisan and community support, and is working well to tackle anti-LGBTI prejudice in schools,” he said.