A prestigious girls’ school in Melbourne is holding workshops to teach students about diversity, LGBTIQA+ inclusion, and coming out.
Methodist Ladies’ College will host workshops by Body Safety Australia across its campuses in a bid to make the school a safer and more inclusive environment.
Parents have been involved in the process and this week received an update on the program that is set to represent “a journey of understanding, empathy and empowerment”, the Herald Sun has reported.
Students will learn about gender, identity, expression, and sexuality, as well as the role of pronouns and the links between misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia.
One parent said that she was concerned about what she perceived as a “constant push of an agenda at the school” that could lead to “almost pushing vulnerable girls in that direction”.
The inclusion of information about the LGBTIQA+ community and related issues in schools has been hotly debated in Australia in recent years.
Far-right One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson last year claimed that schools were “indoctrinating” and “transgendering” young people, in a rant to the Senate that was attacked as “bigoted” and “laughable”.
“By the time these students are in year nine, they will have a new vocabulary based on gender diversity theory, and they will have been taught the art of sex texting, and the advanced sexual techniques,” said Hanson at the time.
New South Wales One Nation leader Mark Latham similarly last month accused “transgender idealogues” of attempting to convert children to being trans.
The Methodist Ladies’ College program is intended to “lead students sensitively, as they learn about diversity in our community and how best to create an inclusive environment”, according to a letter sent to parents.
Students will also learn about being an LGBTIQA+ ally and the intersecting issues of cultural diversity, disability, and faith.
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