Yet another shameful decision on equality.
Today, schools across NSW were banned from showing a PG film to students during school hours.
Not just any film. A gay parenting documentary called Gayby Baby.
The whole fiasco started after Burwood Girls High School planned a screening of the movie – directed by former student Maya Newell – for its 1200 students during class time.
It was scheduled for Friday to coincide with the school’s annual ‘Wear It Purple Day’, a day dedicated to supporting sexual inclusion.
But after some parents kicked up a fuss, the school clarified that students could opt out.
Then, a local Presbyterian Minister inexplicably became involved, claiming it was “trying to change children’s minds by promoting a gay lifestyle”. (Seriously, what century are we in again?)
The public school was criticised for inappropriately airing political issues.
“During school hours we expect them to be doing maths and English and curriculum matters,” NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said after he announced that NSW schools would not be able to show the film.
“This movie is not part of the curriculum and that’s why I’ve made that direction.”
Maya Newell told Mamamia the ban was just another upsetting example of families of same sex couples being “brought to the forefront and shown that we’re worth less and that our families are not welcome in the education system”.
She said the school curriculum states student diversity should be supported – a message promoted through the film, which follows the lives of four children of same-sex parents.
“The film is much more about four kids who are growing up and are experiencing the universal trials and tribulations of oncoming puberty than it is about the sexualisation of their parents,” the 27-year-old, who grew up with two mums, said.
“It’s only political in the sense that they exist and they seem to have to prove their right to exist all the time.”
“When I was at school we didn’t talk about different family structures… I think all students deserve the right to have their family structures celebrated and reflected in their education. And I hope we’re working towards that.”
By banning the film’s viewing during school hours, it effectively sends students the message that acceptance of non-nuclear families is optional.
“All schools should be places where young people have the right to participate in national conversation,” Ms Newell said.
“I think by forcing the film to be screened outside of school hours, it sends a very clear message that these families are an alternative view and they are not being supported by the Department of Education.”
“A family is a family, and it doesn’t matter what the sexuality and gender of our parents are. We should be having a national conversation about how does anyone – straight, gay or otherwise – raise healthy, well-adjusted children.”
The banning is an example of a weak government bowing to the pressures of the minority.
How are students supposed to learn about acceptance and equality when eager-to-please governments continually pander to the demands of a bigoted few?
The whole ugly debacle is exactly why students should be watching movies that promote the message that all people are equal, regardless of their sexuality.
Gayby Baby opens across the country in select cinemas next week. For info, click here.
Do you think the movie should have been banned?