Parental Rights Bill: motion passed at IEU AGM
IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Council finds the release of the NSW Parliament Committee Report on the Parental Rights Bill a major concern and a serious intrusion in the professionalism of teaching. The worst aspects of the Bill’s attack on teacher professionalism have not been addressed, and we call on all NSW politicians, in particular ALP politicians, to reject the proposed legislation in its entirety.
The Bill requires schools to provide parents with detailed summaries of course content. This would not only add to teachers’ already heavy workloads, but also allow parents to withdraw their children from classes covering anything they may not agree with, for example, climate change and the environment, reconciliation, vaccination, evolution or discrimination.
Under the Bill's current provisions, a teacher who does not adhere to mandates will be threatened with deregistration; their accreditation revoked; simply sacked. By fulfilling a duty of care to students, a teacher could lose their job.
The Bill indicates little knowledge or understanding of how schools function on a day-to-day basis, shows no regard for the professional judgement of teachers, and has the potential to cause significant harm to individual students and teachers.
In solidarity with the teaching profession, school counsellors have expressed their deep concern that the legislation would place unreasonable limitations on their ability to discuss sensitive matters with students who are in need of pastoral care relating to issues of sexuality and gender. As a result, these students could be further marginalised rather than shown care.
Council calls on the union to take a strong immediate stand against the Bill and to use all appropriate efforts, contacts and means of communication to influence all elected NSW parliamentary representatives not to support any of the recommendations. This Bill must be defeated.