BAIRD URGED TO STAND UP FOR SAFE SCHOOLS PROGRAM
Jihad Dib MP
Shadow Minister for Education
Friday 18 March 2016
NSW Labor is calling on Premier Mike Baird to get Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to reverse his decision to scale back anti-bullying programs in NSW schools.
The call comes on the sixth National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence and follows the Federal Government’s announcement it would restrict access and funding to the LGBTIQ anti-bullying program, Safe Schools.
The Federal Coalition government has said the program will now only be available in secondary schools and those students wishing to attend will require parental consent.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham also indicated Safe Schools would not have its funding renewed when it runs out next year.
These actions will severely restrict the number of school children that could benefit from the Safe Schools program.
Mr Baird is being called upon to ensure the Safe Schools program continues to operate in NSW.
The Safe Schools program has played a vital role in educating students about bullying and assisting vilified students to feel accepted as part of the school community.
The Opposition will work in full bipartisanship with the Government to ensure anti-bullying programs like Safe Schools remain in NSW classrooms.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Education Jihad Dib
“This is yet another example of the Premier not standing up to his Liberal counterparts in Canberra. He’s trading away funding on education and health and now he can’t even guarantee a school program that promotes inclusiveness.
“Premier Mike Baird needs to make sure Prime Minister Turnbull understands the vital role anti-bullying programs play in NSW schools.
“The Federal Education Minster has said this move is about ensuring the welfare of children in schools – but this move will do the exact opposite.
“Bullying in schools will only be stamped out through intervention and education.
“Cutting the Safe Schools program is a backwards step in the efforts to stop bullying.
“Any program that reduces self-harm and could save just one student’s life deserves our support.”