Fears for stu­dents’ wel­fare

Southern Telegraph - - Front Page -

I’ve had re­ports of chil­dren be­ing fear­ful of be­ing iden­ti­fied as at­tend­ing the school — which is not a good out­come at all.

David Tem­ple­man

Man­durah MLA David Tem­ple­man is con­cerned about the wel­fare of Foundation Chris­tian Col­lege stu­dents who are be­ing ridiculed in the wake of re­ports a school teacher stopped a sev­enyear-old stu­dent from talk­ing about her dad and his gay re­la­tion­ship.

“My main con­cern is that the is­sue is not whipped into frenzy, which ac­tu­ally in the end im­pacts on all of the chil­dren who at­tend this school,” he said.

“I’ve had re­ports of chil­dren be­ing fear­ful of be­ing iden­ti­fied as at­tend­ing the school — which is not a good out­come at all.

“This is a good school which de­liv­ers a very good ed­u­ca­tion to its stu­dents and the prin­ci­pal is a good man.

“How­ever, I be­lieve the whole mat­ter may have been bet­ter han­dled.”

The words “gay is the way” graf­fi­tied on the walls at the Green­fields school shine some light on the way some res­i­dents feel about the school ban­ning the Year 1 stu­dent from talk­ing about her gay par­ents.

As re­ported on Seven News Perth, the girl was vol­un­tar­ily with­drawn from the school af­ter prin­ci­pal An­drew Ne­w­house re­port­edly told the fa­ther his daugh­ter’s ap­pli­ca­tion to at­tend the col- lege would never have been ac­cepted if they had known he was gay.

In a state­ment, Mr Ne­w­house said the school board had a clear Chris­tian world view which all par­ents were made aware of be­fore en­rol­ment was con­firmed.

“While we re­spect the rights of oth­ers to hold dif­fer­ent world views, the col­lege has an obli­ga­tion to the par­ents to main­tain the Chris­tian world­view in all as­pects of the col­lege,” he said.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Pe­ter Col­lier said FCC was a pri­vate, in­de­pen­dent school with a right to a cer­tain view of the world.

“How­ever, in this day and age, I’d like to think so­ci­ety has moved on from this sort of thing,” he said.

“There has been no com­plaint made to the State Gov­ern­ment or the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion Ser­vices.

“Any com­plaint would need to be in­ves­ti­gated by the Equal Op­por­tu­nity Com­mis­sioner.”

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