The Victorian branch of the National Tertiary Education Union released this statement on June 1. It condemned La Trobe University's decision to suspend Roz Ward for a post on her personal Facebook page that said the Australian flag is racist. Ward has been a key activist in the Safe Schools anti-bullying campaign for school students. Murdoch's The Australian has run a witch hunt against her with the aim of destroying Safe Schools, which teaches respect and understanding for LGBTIQ students. * * *
Safe Schools Coalition
On March 18, a day that was supposed to be the National Day of Action Against Bullying, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced devastating attacks on a crucial anti-bullying program. The Safe Schools Coalition is an alliance of 535 primary and secondary schools across the country, which aims to ensure the safety of LGBTI students. The program began in 2014 under the Abbott government. It has already engaged more than 13,000 education professionals.
Hundreds rallied and marched in Sydney and Melbourne on March 12 to protest the federal government's "review" of the Safe Schools program. They were there to show support for the program, which aims to promote acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and addresses issues of bullying and vilification of young people who may be confused about or questioning their sexuality or gender identity. About 500 schools around Australia have signed up to the Safe Schools Coalition, which is convened by the Foundation for Young Australians.