Roz Ward’s Safe Schools role should have raised red flags
The Australian, June 4, 2016
Sometimes one wonders about the priorities of politicians. There have been calls for Roz Ward — a principal architect and Victorian manager of the Safe Schools program who was briefly suspended this week from her job at La Trobe University — to resign, not because she has admitted to being responsible for implementing a compulsory gender-bending sex education program thinly disguised as an anti-bullying program, or because parents are appalled at the content, or because her response to parents who objected was “tough”. No, Ward is on the nose because she is a Marxist whose greatest crime seems to be that she dissed the Australian flag as racist and hoped to see the scarlet banner on Parliament House.
As someone who grew up in a family where the great-grandmother periodically would treat us to a spirited rendition of The Red Flag, I was discomforted. But whether the preferred banner was red, green or rainbow, jumping on Ward’s idiotic comment about the “racist” flag was not the issue uppermost in the minds of worried parents and critics of Safe Schools.
The issue was the damage that could be done by an extreme philosophy of gender fluidity and sexual libertarianism now embedded in the school curriculum. However, that Ward is a self-confessed Marxist is no great surprise. After all, where did all those Trotskyist activists at university in the 1970s go? They went into the environmental movement, the extreme feminist movement, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex lobby groups. They undermined the old Labor movement with its roots in the working-class family and formed a new set of green-left alliances to push their barrows. Within that alliance they can keep on deconstructing, breaking down social pillars.
And the strongest social pillar is, ironically, the family, the same conservative family from which the Labor movement originally sprang. The natural family is the No 1 enemy of every extreme ideology. Even today in Marxist societies the family plays second fiddle to the state. The state instructs and controls the family, not the other way around.
One way it does that, aside from hideous laws, is through an all-encompassing education system. Interestingly, this is what has happened in Victoria with the Safe Schools program. It began under the aegis of anti-bullying, in itself a fundamentally good thing, as a voluntary program. However, despite many parents and schools wanting to opt out when the content became public, the Andrews government mandated it.
Nick Wakeling, the Victorian opposition spokesman for education, says the program should be voluntary: “They mandated (Safe Schools) saying ‘This is good for your children.’ You can throw Roz Ward under a bus but they are still spending $1 million extra to mandate this program. What is more, the Victorian government have refused to implement the federal government’s very minor changes, even though Ward has admitted that her program is not really about bullying.”
So what are the priorities here?
Premier Daniel Andrews’s stubborn and puzzling support for this program shows that it is part of a determined world view. It is not something that can be explained in simplistic left-right ideological terms. The queer gender theory that much of the Safe Schools program is based on is about breaking down the heteronormative view of the world and the natural binary view of sex. It is destructive of the natural family.
But it is not the sole preserve of the Left, just as the sexual revolution from whence it emerged is not the preserve of the Left. It underpins all modern sex education. Even the UN, through its fertility agency the UN Population Fund, supports this type of gender fluidity in its sex education programs.
The new sexual politics is not just a left-right thing, a socialist v capitalist thing. Libertarian, capitalist elements of the Right are just as supportive of gay marriage, for example, as is the Left. Even members of the Liberal government, including former education minister Christopher Pyne, were loath to pull the plug on Safe Schools by abolishing its funding, and the changes mandated by his successor, Simon Birmingham, are tantamount to window-dressing.
Of course, children’s unformed minds are like clear water. They have no sense of any of this. Generally, neither do their well-meaning parents who have entrusted the state with their children’s education. Parents are children’s first educators, but as Ward’s dismissive remarks and Andrews’s determination to push the program show, they get short shrift. Parents have been hoodwinked into a form of radical social education that leaves little time for the basics, when all they really want is for their children to learn the academic skills necessary to get a job, in a pleasant and respectful atmosphere.
Speaking of respect, just as Safe Schools was introduced as an anti-bullying program, so Respectful Relationships was introduced as a program about, well, just that. But did parents expect that within it there would also be exercises in gender fluidity, even at the kindergarten stage, and for older children the deconstruction of sexual stereotypes by analysing newspaper advertisements for sexual services? I think not.