David Southwick peddled misinformation about Safe School in his election campaign and owes the community an apology.
David Southwick was reported in the Australian Jewish News (Nov 23 2018), commenting on the Safe Schools program:
Southwick and Grasso clashed over the Liberals’ plans to scrap the Safe Schools program in which he said “really young children [are] being exposed to sexual education” and replace it with anti-bullying legislation, which she said would not teach respect for those with diverse sexual orientations.
The entire question from Michael Barnett, answer from David Southwick, and comments from Sorina Grasso and Dinesh Mathew, can be heard at Caulfield Candidates Forum: What is the Liberal Party doing to strengthen support for LGBTIQ people? (Nov 15 2018).
On Nov 22 2017 The Conversation article FactCheck: does the Safe Schools program contain ‘highly explicit material’? stated:
One Nation Queensland leader Steve Dickson’s claim that the Safe Schools program “contains highly explicit material directed at young children in their formative years” is incorrect.
There is no discussion of the details of specific sex acts, sex aids or sexual health in Safe Schools resources.
Safe Schools is an optional resource for schools and teachers. Its aim is to help school staff create safer and more inclusive environments for LGBTI students and families.
It is apparent that the understanding David Southwick has of the Safe Schools program, held uniformly across the Liberal Party, differs markedly from the reality of the program.
Is it deeply concerning that David Southwick campaigned on misinformation and fear-mongering, rather than truth and honesty.
David Southwick owes the voters and residents of Caulfield, the Jewish and wider community who put their trust in him, LGBTIQ people and their families, and all Victorians a sincere apology for flagrantly peddling damaging misinformation.
At the Caulfield Candidates Forum David Southwick responds to a question about what the Liberal Party are doing to strengthen support for LGBTIQ people. Sorina Grasso and Dinesh Mathew follow up.
At the Caulfield Candidates Debate David Southwick responds to a question from Michael Barnett about what the Liberal Party are doing to strengthen support for LGBTIQ people. Listen here. Sorina Grasso and Dinesh Mathew follow-up. Listen to the question and answers here.
QUESTION FOR DAVID SOUTHWICK
CAULFIELD CANDIDATES FORUM
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 14 2018
David, last Wednesday Jewish Care Victoria and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria issued a combined statement1 entitled “STANDING AGAINST CONVERSION THERAPY”. This relates to the discredited and unscientific practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation.
The Liberal party has made an election promise to dismantle Safe Schools, an evidence-based program that reduces discrimination and stigma against LGBTIQ people.
Matthew Guy declared at the Australian Christian Lobby conference that a government he leads will abolish safe schools.2
Earlier in the year Graham Watt, Liberal MP for Burwood was at an Anti-Safe Schools Rally convened by far-right religious groups and declared that the Liberal Party would abandon Safe Schools. At this rally others spoke of transgender and gay people and our families as if we were evil and out to destroy society.
Bialik College, Sholem Aleichem and King David College have embraced the principles of the Safe Schools program because they know the program helps build a stronger and more inclusive Jewish community.
What are you and the Liberal Party doing to align with the values of the Jewish community’s leading organisations in terms of strengthening support for LGBTIQ people, not weakening it?