Bullying through picture books
The Australian, August 17, 2016
At best, reading picture books about cross-dressers and transgender characters to five and six-year-olds — who hopefully won’t understand them — is a ridiculous waste of time. Prep and grade one children who are beginning to learn the basics of reading, writing and numbers should not be distracted by such peripheral rubbish. “Decluttering” the national curriculum was a central tenet of the Donnelly-Wiltshire national curriculum review, which is one reason The Australian strongly opposes any rollout of the Flinders University gender diversity trial program, exposed exclusively on yesterday’s front page.
That’s the kind interpretation.
At worst, such programs, under the guise of diversity and anti-bullying, are about bullying innocent children, and their parents who dare to dissent from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex ideology of gender fluidity. The tactic is not new. As early as 1918, the Bolsheviks recognised the “force of children’s books”, editorialising in Pravda that “we must seize these weapons (children’s literature) from enemy (bourgeois) hands”. In the mid-1930s, German children were plied with anti-Semitic picture books in the early years of school and in kindergartens.
In our pluralist democracy, parents are free to read their own children books such as When Kathy is Keith and My New Daddy, in which the child narrator’s “mommy is my new daddy” who “needed to have an operation to make him become a boy like me”. Other parents prefer Paddington Bear, Cinderella or The Magic Pudding to instil a love of stories.
The class of 21 students who took part in the Flinders University project did so with parental consent. But there is no justification for imposing it across schools, especially when most children would need adult guidance to grasp the issues at stake. Proponents of this and the so-called Safe Schools program — which was heavily modified after a review by emeritus professor Bill Louden in March — argue such an approach is necessary to protect LGBTI students from bullying and abuse. An insistence on discipline and good manners are what’s needed on that score. Parents also could ask whether the premature introduction of gender fluidity ideology is even akin to an insidious form of child abuse.