THE LNP Opposition has called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to urgently review a program currently being taught in Queensland schools, which purports to create a safe and inclusive environment for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families.
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said while he supported the intent of the program which is to prevent bullying in schools related to gender and sexual orientation, he was concerned it had been hijacked by activists.
"It's concerning that primary school aged children now have access to material that teaches adult concepts and no parental approval or notification is required," Mr Bennett said.
"My office has been inundated by parents and teachers who have raised serious concerns about this program being introduced into our schools, and we cannot ignore these valid concerns."
Mr Bennett said concerns have also been expressed by child psychiatrists about the age-appropriateness of this material, with the head of child psychiatry at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists being quoted as saying that teaching about gender diversity may not be appropriate for eleven year olds.
"The Education Minister must review this program as a matter of urgency," he said.
"The review must look at why there is secrecy about the program in Queensland. In every other state, parents and members of the community can look up a website for an up-to-date list of the schools that are teaching the program, yet in Queensland, the names of the schools has been blocked."
He said children were being referred to the website of an organisation called Minus18, which provides details about concepts such as chest binding, penis tucking and cross dressing.
Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the resources provided were voluntary.
"The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring every child has the opportunity to learn in a safe and supportive environment so they can reach their full potential," Ms Donaldson said.
"In response to requests from teachers and principals, we made an election commitment to make the Safe Schools Coalition's resource available to secondary school principals to help support students.
"The resource is an initiative funded and approved by the Federal Government to assist principals to provide support to students.
"Principals, in consultation with their school community, are best placed to determine what kinds of resources suit the needs of their school.
"The Safe Schools Coalition resource is entirely voluntary and accessed at the discretion of principals if they determine a need in their school community.
"It's disappointing Mr Bennett doesn't support principals to make decisions in the best interests of their school community and a shame he is out of step with his Federal colleagues who yesterday said the resources supported the right of all students, staff and families to feel safe at school.
"I know that principals and teachers are working hard to ensure schools are safe environments where kids can reach their full potential and I was disappointed to read media reports that schools using the Safe School Coalition resources have been targeted by special interest groups."
When should gender studies be taught at school?
This poll ended on 20 February 2016.
In primary school - 25%
In high school - 43%
Never - 30%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.