Wagga eagerly awaits new anti-bullying program after Safe Schools back down

The Riverina is waiting with bated breath for a new anti-bullying strategy after the NSW government's decision to scrap the controversial Safe Schools program. 

Sarah Adcock

Sarah Adcock

The program, which was launched in 2014, is aimed at providing resources to schools to create a more inclusive environment for gender, intersex, and sexual diversity in the classroom. 

Wagga gay rights advocate Sarah Adcock said she opposed the government’s move but called for a program which supported the LGBT community. 

“People need to look carefully about what’s in safe schools and work on critiquing it,” Ms Adcock said. 

“If it is deemed inappropriate it should be removed and replaced with something that supports students. 

“Any program needs to be focused on assisting children coming to terms with their sexuality or a gender that is different to their birth.” 

Ms Adcock said community outrage against the program was merely a “beat up”. 

“If we are going to make a big deal out of it, let’s talk about what’s inside and speak to the teachers,” Ms Adcock said.

“Let’s talk to the teachers who are looking for support and resources and to the students who are coming to terms with who they are.”  

Wagga councillor Paul Funnell supported the scrapping of what he labels “the unsafe schools program”, calling for a simplistic anti-bullying program based on tolerance and respect. 

“People don’t need to see this acting out in classes of sex between two men,” Mr Funnell said. 

“School’s should have zero tolerance for bullying of any kind but this is not an anti-bullying program this is merely putting ideas into students heads.”