A Labor senator has joined conservative Liberals in calling for the scrapping of an anti-bullying schools program focusing on gay and lesbian issues.
Joe Bullock described the Safe Schools initiative as a “terrible program” that should be stopped immediately.
“There are a whole range of reasons that people get picked on at school,” he told The Australian.
“It’s not only people who had a different view of their own sexuality or undecided as to their sexuality.”
“Bullying is an important issue particularly among young people … (but) this program is so narrowly focused on homosexual issues that it doesn’t provide the sort of balance one would hope.”
Labor’s Senate leader Penny Wong said her colleague’s views were out of step with the party.
The program, funded by Labor in government, was designed to address the “terrifying statistics” of self-harm, abuse and discrimination faced by same-sex-attracted and transgender young people.
“Whatever your views on issues such as marriage equality, surely no one in this country thinks it’s appropriate for children to continue to be bullied,” Senator Wong told ABC Radio.