One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has introduced a bill to stop schools “indoctrinating” children with “non-traditional” concepts like LGBTIQ issues and climate change.
Senator Hanson claims “biased” teachers are teaching young students “skewed versions of history and science, and sexualised school programs”.
Hanson says she is seeking to ban “skewed versions of history taught as fact, controversial sexual programs that teach gender fluidity and realignment to infants, unsubstantiated human-induced climate change, as well as the teachings of so-called ‘safe’ underage sex, sexting, and non-traditional sex”.
“Children are easy targets of all sorts of false and left-leaning teachings,” Hanson said.
“Parents have had a gutful of seeing the people they entrust with teaching their children, pushing their own agendas.
“When children graduate, they need skills in historic research and scientific thinking [to] support them throughout their lives.
“Parents across Australia [have] concerns about biased teachings, they don’t like the teaching of non-traditional and controversial views that don’t give the full picture.”
She delivered a lengthy anti-transgender tirade in the Senate as she introduced the Prohibiting the Indoctrination of Children Bill on Monday.
Pauline Hanson’s bill ‘very poorly-worded’
However, Hanson’s bill itself is scant on detail. While it demands “a balanced presentation of opposing views on political, historical and scientific issues” it doesn’t elaborate further. The bill provides no definition of “balance”.
In the bill, Hanson tries to tie federal education funding to a school’s “balanced” curriculum by putting pressure on states.
To get the funding, schools would have to explain to parents “the extent to which students are provided a balanced presentation of opposing views”.
Hanson wants parents to be able to seek court orders stopping teachers “promoting partisan views or activities to students”.
However University of Sydney Law School Professor Simon Rice told SBS that Hanson’s bill was “very poorly worded”.
“She’s powerless to actually influence the [federal funding], so the amendment can’t ever actually have effect,” he said.
“This bill looks like an attempt to gain publicity for a position she would like the [Education Minister] to take. It’s a gesture, it’s a statement.”
Professor Rice said the bill is so broad it could hypothetically do the opposite of what Hanson intended.
For example, schools not currently teaching LGBTIQ+ sex education could be compelled to start to achieve “balance”.
Greens say bill ‘belongs in the bin’
Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi slammed Pauline Hanson’s claims as “absurd” and “bigoted”.
Faruqi believes the bill would mandate teaching of climate denialism and “dangerous conservative ideas of gender and sexuality.”
“Senator Hanson’s attempt to gag teachers and stuff the curriculum full of right-wing conspiracy theories would be laughable if it weren’t so terrifying,” Faruqi said.
“The curriculum should be based on evidence and expertise not Pauline Hanson’s latest bigoted thought bubble.
“There is no place for this kind of censorship of teachers in our democracy and our schools.
“This bill belongs nowhere but in the bin. Hanson’s spurious claims that human-caused climate change is ‘unsubstantiated’ and schools ‘teach gender fluidity and realignment to infants’ can go with it.
“It’s vital every child learns the realities of the climate crisis, the truth of Australia’s settler-colonial past and how to have respectful relationships in the context of a comprehensive sex education.
“Teachers, working with educational experts, do a great job supporting students, often working without the resources they need.
“They certainly don’t need One Nation’s meddling.”
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