19 September 2013
Alex Greenwich, Independent Member for Sydney today shared stories of discrimination against LGBTI students while introducing his Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Private Educational Authorities) Bill 2013.
"Currently NSW private school students can be expelled for being gay, lesbian, transgender, a teen mum, or a having a disability. The threat of expulsion has a negative impact on what are often vulnerable students and their learning and development”, said Mr Greenwich.
“One student told me about being openly gay in years 11 and 12 at an Anglican college in 2008 and 2009. He says he was regularly sent to the counsellor’s office for being ‘‘sick’’ because he was gay. He says he often came home from school and locked himself in his room to cry."
“Another student, a lesbian teen from a Catholic Marist college, told me her English teacher told her she was disgusting and a disgrace to the school and the Catholic religion. The student was taken to the coordinator’s office and told she was “skating on thin ice” and might not be let into senior school”, said Mr Greenwich.
“Another private school student tells me that his school found out he was gay six weeks before the HSC and told him at a meeting set with his mother that he could not talk about his sexuality, he would need to see a counsellor and he would be excluded from school events."
Mr Greenwich called on the Government to grant a conscience vote on his bill, as it has done with voluntary euthanasia, Zoe’s Law, and marriage equality:
“It is important for the vulnerable students like those mentioned in my speech that they know there are people in the Government who do not tolerate this sort of discrimination, and I know there are,” Mr Greenwich concluded.
A discussion paper on Mr Greenwich's bill can be accessed here and a copy of the bill is available upon request.
For more information contact Mr Greenwich on 9360 3053 (Electorate Office).