Supporting the independent education community

Union writes to NSW MPs to oppose Latham's bill

 

The IEU has written to NSW Labor, Greens and some independent MPs expressing our opposition to the proposed Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 and requesting they vote against the Bill if it is put before the NSW parliament.

 

The union considers that the concept of parental primacy is so broad that it could impact on almost every curriculum area that deals with sensitive topics. Parents could object to the teaching of approved curricula, for example in the area of science (evolution and geology), Shakespeare (cross-dressing, suicide and pre-marital sex), geography (climate change and the environment), modern and ancient history (religion, social movements, role of women, political beliefs) and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (personal wellbeing and identity, sex, consent), to name just a few examples.

 

Further, the prohibition on the teaching of gender fluidity is defined in such a way that it could limit and undermine the support schools provide to vulnerable children. To seek to govern the interactions between counsellors and teachers and their students in a heavy-handed way as is proposed by the Bill is to breach the duty of care owed by teachers and schools to students and could put at risk the psychological health of students.

 

If teachers fall afoul, even unwittingly, of the requirements of the Bill, they must lose their teacher accreditation, which is essential to teach in NSW and other states and territories. This aspect of the Bill has caused consternation amongst our members and is quite out of step with the usual safeguards that would apply to the removal of a person’s right to practice their profession.

 

Attached below is a summary of the union’s analysis of the Bill.