Scott Morrison has revealed he chose to send his two young daughters to an independent Baptist school to avoid them having “the values of others” imposed on them through the likes of sex education role-plays, on topics including bisexual teenagers to youngsters with multiple partners.
The new prime minister, 50, joined 2GB host Alan Jones on his radio show to discuss the possibility of deregistering the CFMEU, when the conversation took a dramatic turn towards the new Safe Schools program.
Introducing the discussion – which Jones warned could make the PM’s “skin crawl” – the radio host pointed out that some teachers are now asking students in Year 9 to take part in role-plays, acting out the part of bisexual teenagers who have had multiple sexual partners.
Asked if this will happen in classrooms under his own prime ministership, Morrison said: “Well it’s not happening in the school I send my kids to and that’s one of the reasons I send them there.”
Morrison sends his girls, aged nine and eleven, to an independent Baptist school, and admitted his objection to the wider Safe Schools program has made him want to protect the religious freedoms of private schools.
As Jones asked if things like these role-play exercises make his skin crawl, Morrison added: “It does Alan for this reason. The values I have as a parent, that’s where you get your values from. I don’t want the values of others being imposed on my children in my school.
“I don’t think that should be happening in a public school or a private school. That’s why I want to protect the religious freedoms of independent schools, to ensure that they can continue to go on providing at least that choice. But when it comes to public schools, as you know they’re funded by the government… How about we just have state schools that focus on things like learning maths and science.”
Pushing his point further, Morrison said his main goal was to ensure children leave school with the skills they need to find a job and succeed, rather than spending time doing role-play and “amateur theatre”.
He was referring to the Building Respectful Relationships program, written by Deakin University associate professor Debbie Ollis, which includes an exercise titled ‘Different perspectives on sexual intimacy’.
Under the program, students have to act out 20-minute role-plays using character cards, with characters including bisexual 17-year-old Megan who has had 15 sexual partners, Grace who has been sexually active since she was 13, and 14-year-old Kelly who is struggling with her sexuality and thinks she may be lesbian.
It’s part of the wider Safe Schools program, aiming to stop bullying due to students’ sexual orientation.
Elsewhere in the chat, Morrison admitted he is considering deregistering the CFMEU after Victorian secretary John Setka used his children in a social media campaign against the building industry watchdog.
Setka tweeted a photo of his kids holding a sign with an angry foul-mouthed message directed at the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). The caption read: “Leave our dads alone and go catch the real criminals you cowards.”
“The CFMEU has behaved, under John Setka, like a bunch of thugs,” Morrison told Jones of the social media message. “I mean, this stuff just makes your skin crawl.”