Queensland Leader of One Nation insists that the controversial Safe Schools Program be permanently abolished

Queensland One Nation Leader and Member for Buderim, Steve Dickson wishes to clarify his comments regarding the Safe Schools Coalition and wants the public to be aware of the contents of this radical program.
Mr Dickson said, “Volumes of concerned parents have contacted my office regarding the controversial Safe Schools program for at least two years. In fact it is one of the biggest concerns raised in my electorate and other MPs could verify this.
This issue must be brought to the attention of parents as the Labor government kept the list of Queensland schools giving students access to this program a secret. However, a September 2015 archive search of the Safe School Coalition website revealed that 13 Queensland schools were listed as member schools.”
In August 2017, I stated: The program covers “knowledge, skills and practical ideas to create safer and more inclusive school environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families”. Due to the explicit content, many argue that the program is age inappropriate, especially for primary school students and covers topics that should be up to parents and guardians to discuss with their children. To replace this program, One Nation will ensure that children are offered counselling and support where necessary on an individual basis.
Mr Dickson said, “in June this year the Labor Education Minister Kate Jones indicated that the Government had at that stage not made a decision on funding the Safe Schools program after October when the Federal Funding ran out. It was revealed that Queensland schools will have to use funds from their own budget if they want their teachers to access the program’s training and professional development. I am somewhat relieved with this announcement, however a spokesman for Queensland’s Education Department said schools would still be able to access the Safe Schools Coalition’s resources including lesson plans, pamphlets, and posters (should they wish to do so).
“Queensland parents have signed petitions with signatures totalling over 22,000 to the Queensland Parliament asking the Premier and Education Minister to stop Safe Schools in Qld.
“In May 2016, Education Minister Kate Jones responded to a petition against having the program in Queensland schools.
“She was very clear in stating that “during the 2015 state election Principals said they needed more resources to support students in their schools. Queensland Labor listened and committed to making the Safe Schools Coalition Australia materials available in Queensland schools”. The Palaszczuk government delivered on this promise. SSCA’s resources will remain available in Queensland as promised at the State (2015) election.”
Mr Dickson said that in June this year Ms Jones indicated the Government had at that stage not made a decision on funding the Safe Schools program after October when the Federal Funding ran out.
“The Premier’s assertion at the weekend that the program “was not being taught in Queensland classrooms” belies the fact that the program has been taught in our classrooms as recently as two weeks ago.”
Mr Dickson said the comments he made at the weekend about concerns for Year 4 students were relayed to him by a parent.
“I apologise if the specific words I used offended anyone, but I make no apology for One Nation’s policy to remove the controversial Safe Schools program from Queensland classrooms.”
Mr Dickson also rejected any suggestion that his statements about Safe Schools was a reflection on Queensland teachers. He said, “It was never my intention to offend our educators who I have the greatest respect for.
“No child should be bullied at school for any reason, but this program is not an anti-bullying program. It contains highly explicit material directed at young children in their most formative years, without their parents or guardians knowledge or consent.”
Mr Dickson said, “The Premier’s assertion at the weekend that the Safe Schools program “was not being taught in classrooms in Queensland” must be clarified. And further, will funding for the Safe School program re-emerge if Labor is successful at the state election?
13 November 2017