Safe Schools: NSW Premier Mike Baird defends federal government’s review
Sydney Morning Herald, March 22, 2016.
NSW Premier Mike Baird has defended the federal government’s changes to Safe Schools by revealing his own concerns over the material within the controversial anti-bullying program.
Mr Baird weighed into the debate for the first time. He said he found some of the material linked to the Safe Schools program to be inappropriate.
“How on earth can our children be looking at this?,” he told ABC radio. “I think that the changes that the federal government announced are sensible and reasonable.”
Before Safe Schools drew the attention of Liberal MP George Christensen and Senator Cory Bernardi in February, Mr Baird said he welcomed the program into the state’s schools.
But on Tuesday, the Premier said NSW school counsellors, who received a $51 million funding boost in March, were better placed to deal with the concerns of students than the Safe Schools program.
“Is the best way to deal with them a generic approach across people who potentially aren’t qualified [or] have professional capability [counsellors] there for those students,” he said.
“I think it is an appropriate thing for counsellors to be involved in, we need to do everything possible to help those kids.”