A proposal to ban discussion of gender diversity in New South Wales classrooms has received mixed support, with Catholic Schools NSW supporting the bill but Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta voicing opposition. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham’s bill proposes to prohibit the promotion of gender fluidity in schools, including the classroom and teachers’ professional development courses. Mr Latham says this is about “re-establishing the primacy of parents in shaping their children’s development and sense of identity”.
In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the bill, the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta described the proposal as “counter to promoting and respecting the human dignity of all” and “an unacceptable incursion into the professional judgement of Catholic schools and school systems”.
In its submission, Catholic Schools NSW, representing the state’s 600 Catholic schools, 30,000 staff and 257,000 students, said parental primacy was paramount. It supports the bill, with the caveat it must not prevent schools providing pastoral care to LGBTQI students.
But Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta – which controls 80 schools with 43,000 students in western Sydney and the Blue Mountains – submitted that if parental “rights” clashed with the best interests of children, the latter must prevail.
Interest groups will appear at public hearings on the bill in Parliament this week.
Catholic schools split over Mark Latham’s anti-trans education bill (By Michael Koziol, Sydney Morning Herald)