Let’s beat One Nation’s bigoted Bill

Submissions to One Nation’s Education Bill close this Sunday and Federation encourages members to make an online submission via survey before the opportunity is gone.

Last year One Nation’s Mark Latham introduced a bill to NSW Parliament to amend the Education Act 1990, the Education Standards Authority Act 2013 and the Teacher Accreditation Act 2004.

The effect of this Bill is to add the notions of “parental primacy” and “gender fluidity” into legislation.

This would mean that teachers would not be able to teach topics that relate to “moral and ethical standards, political and social values, and matters of personal wellbeing and identity”. Such topics cover almost everything that schools teach students.

The Bill then requires teachers to “consult” with parents at the beginning of each school year by publishing courses of study that include teaching in these areas. This would, in effect, mean that teachers would be forced to publish their teaching programs online.

Programs are dynamic and responsive documents supporting the learning of all students, but under the Bill teachers would then have to adhere to what was published when student need, or environmental context, would require variation.

The Bill fails to recognise the obligations of teachers in their duty of care for the wellbeing of students, and the delivery of core values as set by the Department of Education. It would also have the effect of NESA having to rewrite a number of syllabuses to comply with various topics being removed from the content of courses, or modified to allow dangerous counter-narratives (e.g. holocaust deniers, flatearth beliefs and climate change deniers) to be elevated.

The changes to the Education Act by One Nation in NSW also seek to insert the legislative right for parents to remove students from classes when parents object to children receiving that instruction. This includes topics that Latham identified as, refugees, climate change, racial and Indigenous issues.*

If parents complain that teachers have taught about the Stolen Generations, racism, climate change or the struggle of civil rights movements (including women, LGBTIQ people, Indigenous groups etc) that they disagree with, teachers will be at risk of losing their accreditation. This means they will not be able to teach in any other school in NSW and most likely put an end to their career.

The Bill also requires all school staff, including teachers, non-teaching staff, counsellors, advisers and consultants, to not recognise the gender identity of others who are transgender, gender diverse or non-binary. To do so would lead that teacher to be deregistered. Professional development providers would also not be allowed to provide education on this topic or they too will be deregistered with NESA.

Equality Australia’s factsheet provides further detail about this damaging Bill, and advice on how to respond to the survey.

*Second reading speech