‘Safe Schools’ Safe from Scrutiny?

blind eye IIWill the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse investigate the Safe Schools campaign? There appears to be a clear case that it should, especially after the latest revelations about suspicious behaviour of its auspicing body, the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University. (“Parents in dark over sex survey”, The Australian, 4/3).

ARCSHS is the home of Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria, whose head is Roz Ward, the coordinator of the Safe Schools campaign in Victoria. Ward was one of the six authors of the From Blues to Rainbows report produced by ARCSHS operatives to promote the idea that youngsters it identifies as belonging to the ‘LGBTI community’ are especially susceptible to depression. This assertion was then used to justify the nationwide Safe Schools campaign directed at all pre-teen Australian children to promote LGBTI issues.

From Blues to Rainbows relied on data obtained in a deliberately clandestine manner.  According to The Australian, “vulnerable teenagers as young as 14, including some who had suicidal thoughts, were secretly interviewed without parental knowledge about their gender and sexuality” by ARCSHS researchers. Children were recruited via social media, and the interviews were conducted via an online instant messenger platform, often in the evening to avoid parents finding out what was going on. The operation was promoted by LGBTI organizations and publications, as well as by the ABC’s Triple J.

This surreptitious strategy took advantage of the young peoples’ ready access to social media, as well as their vulnerability, naivety, trust in adults, and reliance on youth-orientated media like Triple J. It allowed the ARCSHS operatives to gain access to their favoured target group — people under the age of 18 — without parental knowledge or consent.

This also enabled them to identify “a highly vulnerable cohort”, about 60% of whom identified as transgender or ‘gender questioning’. Nearly two-thirds claimed to have suffered abuse or harassment, more than half had been diagnosed with depression, and 38% had thought about suicide. The deliberately covert targeting of individual at-risk children was implemented, according to The Australian,  against the National Health and Medical Research Council’s ethical guidelines on research involving minors. This recommends that parental consent be obtained for such intrusive and intimate questioning of children, especially those who are psychologically extremely vulnerable. (By another reckoning, relevant research guides are so nebulous and elastic researchers could “drive a truck through them” if they so wish)

It has not been alleged that these operatives took advantage of their contact with vulnerable and sexually conflicted youngsters to encourage them to ‘come out’ prematurely as LGBTI folk, or to make drastic or irreversible life choices, such as gender re-assignment surgery,  including, for example, genitoplasty, penectomy, vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, or other procedures promoted by LGBTI activists for young people.

Nor has it been alleged that the researchers engaged in the sexual grooming of these children or pursued subsequent personal contact or relationships with them. Doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other professionals are, of course, prohibited from exploiting such situations where there is a massive power imbalance to pursue intimate personal relationships. However, it is not known whether these researchers are required to observe such constraints. The Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University, John Dewar, has claimed that the exercise was “subject to rigorous scrutiny by the university’s ethics committee”. However, it is not known whether this committee has the authority or capacity to regulate, surveil, or investigate the ongoing behaviour of operatives involved in this type of covert and intimate research.

Such investigations may however be the responsibility of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, either now or in the future. According to its charter, this Commission is required to investigate “how institutions like schools, churches, sports clubs and government organisations have responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse.” It can “look at any private, public or non-government organisation that is, or was in the past, involved with children. This includes where an organisation caring for a child is responsible for the abuse or for not responding appropriately, regardless of where or when the abuse took place”.

This certainly mandates an investigation into the ARCSHS and the Safe Schools campaign. The Commission’s inquiries have unearthed a mountain of proven and alleged criminal abuse carried out by sexual predators employed by government, religious, educational, and community organizations. In most cases even a small number of perpetrators can cause irreparable harm.

The ARCSHS and the Safe Schools program should not be considered to be any different to these bodies. They would seem no less likely to involve persons of predatory proclivities prepared to take advantage of their positions to wheedle their way into the lives of vulnerable young people, who they can then groom, exploit, and abuse. Nor can their administrators, auspicing bodies, or political mentors be considered any less culpable when such abuse occurs. Negligence is negligence, whether it occurs in a church, university, school, education department, or ministerial office.

In the short term, the ARCSHS and the Safe Schools campaign will be defended by the LGBTI lobby, progressivist elites, and various Labor and Liberal politicians who have staked their reputations on the legitimacy of the campaign, which, as the LGBTI flagship propaganda vehicle, relies heavily on the claims made in the From Blues to Rainbows report based on this research.

However, this protection may evaporate in the medium or longer term, when social values, public expectations, and the political situation have changed.  Only a few decades ago, priests, youth workers, teachers, doctors, and others involved with children were assumed to be trustworthy, but that has changed drastically. Now they are being held to account, as are those who supervised them or otherwise facilitated their activities. Extremely prominent people, including a cardinal and a governor-general have been held to account, and this remorseless moral crusade will continue into the foreseeable future.

Would it not fair to extend this scrutiny to others also in positions where trust might be violated? To this end, the Royal Commission should continue a renewed round of advertisements soliciting the stories and testimonies of those who feel themselves to have been used.

9 thoughts on “‘Safe Schools’ Safe from Scrutiny?

  • SJAH says:

    ‘Especially susceptible to depression’ have they met any teenagers? The Royal Commission was kicked off in part due to Victorian police assertions of the suicides of victims of Catholic clergy abuse, which subsequently turned out to be one verifiable suicide. No study by those associated with psychology has ever failed to find susceptibility to something.

  • Jody says:

    We shouldn’t be talking amongst ourselves about this cultural abomination (Safe Schools) but lobbying our politicians and writing to the mainstream newspapers (well, not Fairfax – the execrable Comical Aly has already declared that we’re in the death throws of Conservative the world over). I cannot think of a worse oxymoron than “Safe Schools” for this ideological tsunami.

    Having just read about composer Prokofiev and his life in Russia; the 1917 Revolution offered the promise of nirvana which was quickly morphed into a shocking witch-hunt for dissenters who developed a taste for salt, particularly that found in the mines of Siberia. WE already have our ‘intellectual gulags’ here, courtesy of the Thought Police. won’t be long now….

  • mgkile@bigpond.com says:

    “Now that Cardinal Pell’s latest ordeal in the witness box is done and dusted, what further areas of inquiry might be worthy of the Royal Commission’s curiosity?”

    One area worthy of the Royal Commission’s curiosity surely would be the practice and efficacy of exorcism versus psychology.

    Another $100+ million would generate sufficient content to satisfy every taste across the gender/media spectrum for years.

  • bemartin39@bigpond.com says:

    What adolescent is not confused, angry, insecure, fearful, unhappy and a whole lot of other things, frequently all or some of them at the same time? Now, thanks to the Safe Schools program, their problems can be ameliorated, even eliminated completely by the suggestion that they might actually suffer from gender identity, so they should explore the possibility of being any of the rare but exotic types, even if they never before heard of some of them, maybe even a combination of two or more, actually or latently, possibly subconsciously, maybe due to some traumatic experience they probably can’t remember, …. The possibilities are inexhaustible. What an incredible program!

  • Jody says:

    Remove the taxpayer dollar from this ideological junket right now!! If not, kids will filter society through little more than a gender prism for the rest of their lives. All dictators understand the power and value of influencing young, impressionable minds.

  • en passant says:

    I read the reply by Jennifer.McAllister@aph.gov.au to a letter from a voter asking that she seek the defunding of this abomination and travesty of the purpose of education. Jennifer not only defended it (she is after all from the Socialist-Left) but she said that every time she received a letter asking for it to be defunded, she would personally donate $5.00 to an LGBTI charity. I thought this was a wonderful idea and a typical case of a politician unable to connect the $5.00 dots. I immediately wrote asking that the programme be defunded and asked that she provide proof that she had made the appropriate donation. Here is an extract of my email to her”

    “I found your views to be quite misguided as the ‘Safe Schools’ programme is anything but. It is not about safe schools at all as it is about undermining the family, the Australian culture, marriage (between male and females) and the normality of human behaviour supported by the vast majority of Australians and 100% of muslims. Can I ask how many muslims or muslim schools have signed up for the program?
    Should any of this degenerative psycho-babble be taught in schools at all? I think not. Safe schools are just the employment of Orwellian words straight from the Marxist Mind Control Playbook. Just last night I was watching the History Channel and noted that Stalin had a world renowned Biologist killed (as all Marxists will do if given the chance – it is in their DNA) because he told the scientific truth and opposed the lies of failed biologist, Lysenko. Lysenko caused the deaths of an estimated 2,000,000+ people through the application of his pseudo-scientific and false theories. Sort of like the current climate con fad, isn’t it?
    Stalin also called in Pavlov (of dog training fame) and demanded that he apply his programming techniques to people. Another wonderous Marxist ‘safe schools’ type of idea and reminiscent of Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. Safe Schools (even when that term is used just to mean ‘safe) is just a variation on that Georgian mass-murderers attempt to change people to his unnatural way of thinking. This scheme is …. a means of promoting the ‘Great Society’ of proles.
    I would like to add my voice to the great many people who want this programme terminated by having this cultural-engineering programme defunded.
    Also, please note that this programme contravenes the provisions of 18C and may very well be challenged as it is quite offensive to me and is damaging my personal well being.
    I also regard it as a particularly egregious and sinister form of child abuse to present this stuff to young impressionable minds. Can you tell me what would happen to a Year-7 child who spoke out after the training session in homosexual sex and said “I think that is disgusting and unnatural!” Which gulag or paedophile ring would he (or she) be assigned to – or would they have their gender compulsorily reassigned. Under the tyranny of these Marxist destroyers of normality contrary opinions are the really revolutionary ones.
    What sort of bizarre world is it that you are promoting as a ‘safe’ one when every day the agonies created by paedophile priests and brothers monotonously dominates the news, yet we are teaching schools to incorporate other forms of abnormal behaviour into their curriculum as normal? Sorry, I forgot, underage sex between consenting children is the new normal and is only to be regarded as abnormal between adults and children.
    I note that you will donate $5.00 of your own money to Twenty-10 for every letter such as this one that you receive. As you already owe Twenty-10 $5.00 for xxx’s letter, so please make that $10 as a result of also receiving this letter.
    Unfortunately, these days politicians have proven that their word of honour is sometimes less than reliable, so can you provide me with proof that you have made the donation by providing a receipt as proof that you have done so and the assurance that the money was not purloined from public funds(which means my taxes).
    Having had the error of your ways pointed out to you I look forward to the defunding of this pseudo-educational tripe.”
    I suspect she must now either break her word or go bankrupt.

  • Jody says:

    Please put this letter INTO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN. There is also a space on the internet where petitions can be started; I’ve forgotten the exact name of the site. This is the only thing which will stop the rot.

  • Lawrie Ayres says:

    All it took for Cardinal Pell to face the commission was some complaints from a victim’s family who thought the Cardinal should do more than simply give them $750000. If some parents complain to the commission that their children felt abused, intimidated or confused by the Safe Schools Programme then it should be investigated. Since that programme is wide spread, like the Catholic church, a suitable representative would have to be found. I could think of a no more representative person than Roz Ward to face the music in a very public and hopefully humiliating way covered in scrupulous detail by a press corps dedicated to finding the truth. Some crowd funding may be necessary to fly all the complainants to the commission hearings. I suspect Roz, as a typical Marxist, will have no hesitation in throwing politicians and fellow academics under a bus in order to minimise her own responsibility which up til now she claims as a badge of honour.

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