Australia: State DepEd encourages transgender studies and self-expression for students

A new document on transgender students was sent to primary school by the NSW as part of a training to encourage male students to become more feminine and girls more masculine. The document also included materials that explained gender fluidity and same-sex relationships.

The state government of New South Wales Department of Education (DepEd) is reported to have given learning materials to primary teachers that included a 40-page document titled ‘OMG I’m Trans’

The document contained instructions that encouraged male students to do activities such as tucking their penis or wearing a padded bra to look more feminine. The document first appeared on the School Biz portal for teachers, having originated from the state’s DepEd.

Guidelines on transgenders

The document also included other resources such as fictional books titled ‘The Gender Fairy, Are you a Boy or Are you a Girl’ and ‘Sex Is A Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings and You’. The resource also had other guidelines on how to teach students about gender fluidity and same-sex relationships. The document also included guidelines on how girls could hide their breasts to appear more masculine.

While addressing the controversy that followed after the public became aware that such documents had been sent to teachers, the public education body indicated that the materials contained in the document had been deemed safe for children in 2016 by an independent review. They also indicated that the material was not being operated by the government, pointing to a third-party operation.

Criticism

One Nation MP Mark Latham criticized the document and accused the state of taking shortcuts to reintroduce the Safe Schools programs. On twitter, he implied that the government had played a public relations stunt with its citizen and while the Safe School program was shelved, the government has found creative ways of reintroducing it back to the school system.

The document, however, received support from some quarters such as NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby who said that the resources would benefit the students greatly. Co-convenor of the organization, Jack Whitney, said that these studies would help students who identify a certain way get the support their needs. He also criticized Latham for his opposition to the documents telling him that transgender and students exist and he should stop trying to silence them.

 

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