State Government hits back over LNP's Safe Schools 'ban'
QUEENSLAND Education Minister Kate Jones has accused the Opposition of using students to score cheap political points after the LNP promised to ban the controversial Safe School program.
The anti-discrimination program, aimed at helping schools foster a safe environment that is supportive and inclusive of LGBTI students, has been met with a mixed response since its introduction in 2014.
But Ms Jones said the LNP Shadow Education Minister Tracy Davis, who made the announcement about the ban yesterday, knew that Safe Schools has never been taught in a classroom anywhere in Queensland.
"In Queensland we have always taken the approach that schools under the leadership of their local principals are best placed to know what their students need," Ms Jones said.
"Safe School resources have never been used in classrooms but only used to support principals and teachers."
Ms Davis said the LNP would develop a new anti-bullying resource for Queensland schools in consultation with teachers, parents, educational experts and child psychologists and that is age-appropriate.
She said New South Wales and Tasmania had already withdrawn the Safe Schools program from their schools.
"The LNP is committed to stamping out any form of bullying or anti-social behaviour from our schools," she said.
"This behaviour will not be tolerated."
Ms Davis said parents and schools have had Safe Schools forced on them "by Labor's left-wing agenda".
But Ms Jones said Ms Davis knew the program was not funded by the State Government "but by her LNP colleagues in Canberra".
"Tracy Davis is making this up because she is trying to distract from the reality that an LNP government would cut teachers from the classroom just like they did last time.
"What kind of a person would use our students to score cheap political points," she said.
"Tracy Davis should hang her head in shame."
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders accused the Opposition of being "populist" with its announcement and said that schools were already able to opt out or opt into the program as educators saw fit.
"It's really up to the school community," Mr Saunders said.