So now it’s a thought crime to regard heterosexuality as the norm in human relationships. This is called “heterosexism”, joining racism and sexism as the new no-go zone, and the Proud Schools pilot program rolled out to 12 Sydney and Hunter high schools over the past two terms is aimed at stamping it out.
The program defines “heterosexism” as the practice of “positioning heterosexuality as the norm for human relationship”, according to the Proud Schools Consultation Report. “It involves ignoring, making invisible or discriminating against non-heterosexual people, their relationships and their interests. Heterosexism feeds homophobia.”
So there it is. If you think the vast majority of people are attracted to the opposite sex and that heterosexual human relationships are the norm, you are feeding homophobia. The state government would prefer you didn’t know about its Proud Schools program against homophobia, “transphobia” and “heterosexism”.
It features professional learning for teachers, “celebrations of diversity for students” and “embedding discussion of sexuality and gender diversity into the classroom”. Education Minister Adrian Piccoli wants you to think it is all the work of his predecessor Verity Firth, who started the whole project in the dying days of the Labor government.
But Piccoli kept the program, which cost $250,000, despite the fact that there is no evidence that homophobic bullying is a big problem in NSW schools and despite the fact anti-homophobia elements are already incorporated in the existing PDHPE syllabus.
At least a dozen MPs, from the Coalition, Labor and independents including Fred Nile, have discussed their concerns with Proud Schools in recent weeks.
One has provided The Daily Telegraph with extensive information about the program obtained under freedom of information or in questions on notice to Piccoli in Parliament.
From 175 pages of material, including a Proud Schools consultation report produced by Family Planning NSW and in minutes of meetings of the Proud Schools Steering Committee, a disturbing picture emerges of a program that appears designed more for indoctrination and propaganda than to eliminate bullying.
In Victoria a similar program, the “Safe Schools Coalition” to “support sexual diversity” in schools, holds that gender and sexuality are not fixed but fluid concepts. Students are taught not to think about gender and sexuality in a “binary” way, as in male/female or gay/ straight, but as part of a continuum of choices.
What are pubescent children supposed to make of that?
The assumptions which underpin the Proud Schools program seem questionable, at best.
For one thing, a position paper produced for the project by Latrobe University claims there is “strong evidence in 2011 that approximately one in 10 young people are sexually attracted to people of their own sex, or are unsure”.
It also quotes another figure of “between 7 and 9 per cent” who are same-sex attracted.