Andrew Hastie slams ‘safe schools’ gay and transgender program

CANNING MP Andrew Hastie has called for the axing of the controversial Safe Schools program, a government funded scheme aimed at making schools “inclusive for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students”.

The $8 million program came under heavy fire in federal parliament, with one parliamentarian arguing it recommends pornographic content, sex shops, sex clubs and adult communities to school children.

However, Mr Hastie criticised the program for undermining the child-parent relationship and for interfering in the family.

“The Safe Schools Coalition did not seek the permission or endorsement of parents when implementing their program,” he said.

“No one should be surprised that parents are outraged when their children are exposed to controversial sexual ideology without their consent.”

Mr Hastie also pointed to a “double-standard” when the Safe Schools program is compared to school chaplaincy programs.

“By contrast, the National School Chaplaincy Program is voluntary for schoolchildren and chaplains are not able to proselytise at schools,” he said.

“This is ultimately about the state interfering in the family and undermining the child-parent relationship.

“Of the 1100 schools in WA, only 19 have signed up to the Safe Schools Coalition program.

“With a year left of the program and in an increasingly fiscally constrained environment, this is an area where the government can make savings.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ordered a review of the program after pressure from MPs, including Mr Hastie.

Supporters of the program, including opposition leader Bill Shorten, have branded those who oppose it “homophobes”.

Greens senator Robert Simms said Mr Turnbull should condemn the "profoundly offensive and deeply hurtful" comments of the program’s opponents.

"The Prime Minister should condemn this homophobia, rather than indulging it through this senseless investigation into Safe Schools," he said.

The Foundation for Young Australians which implements the Safe Schools program has been contacted for comment.

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