Controversial Safe Schools dumped for 'more inclusive' anti-bullying program after Federal Government cuts funding to the initiative
The NSW Government has dumped the controversial Safe Schools program and plans to replace it with a broader anti-bullying campaign.
Its replacement was a broader program to combat bullying and discrimination of all kinds, whereas Safe Schools focused on gender identity.
State Education Minister Rob Stokes said the new program would be implemented in term three and would support those struggling at school.
'Bullying will never be accepted in NSW public schools - whether it be because someone is overweight, gay, based on the colour of their skin or for any other reason,' he said. The decision was prompted by the Federal Government cutting off funding for Safe Schools by June 30.
'The Australian government, who fund and oversee the Safe Schools program, have advised that they will no longer be providing funding for the program by mid-year,' Mr Stokes said. The new program would be funded by the NSW Government with money to be set aside in the upcoming 2017-18 budget.
Lesson plans would be tailored to fit the needs of schools and their teachers, and would also help prevent students from being radicalised.
It was still in the draft phase and would be peer reviewed by child psychologists and former school principals in coming weeks.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbot quickly voiced his support for the program being axed and moved to distance his government from it.
'Good that NSW is scrapping so called Safe Schools, a social engineering programme dressed up as anti-bullying,' he wrote on Twitter.
'This was a Gillard govt programme, not - REPEAT NOT - an Abbott govt one.'
The Safe Schools program drew controversy over its inclusion of gender fluidity and diverse sexuality, with many conservative MPs criticising the program since its inception.