STRONG VIEW: Former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss.
STRONG VIEW: Former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss.

Truss trashes Safe Schools program as sexuality focused

FORMER Deputy Prime Minister and Wide Bay MP, Warren Truss, says federal funding for the Safe Schools Program should be slashed.

Mr Truss, the former Nationals leader who stepped down as Deputy Prime Minister in February, told the Daily he believed no student should "feel unsafe at school".

But he believed the Safe Schools Program was not about bullying, but about sexuality.

"Clearly it is much more about gender and sexuality than bullying," he said.

"It doesn't even mention bullying."

He criticised the recent Federal Government review of the program and said there "hasn't been adequate scrutiny".

"The government commissioned a review, but it was not broad enough.

"It only looked at schools in Melbourne.

"The program either needs to be de-funded or rewritten."

Mr Truss said he supported inclusive school environments for students to achieve their potential.

But there were elements of the Safe Schools program that concerned him.

"Particularly that it provides links to sites most parents wouldn't want their 11 and 12 year olds to be searching," he said.

"At the very least it needs to be substantially edited to make sure it is acceptable to a broader range of parents and schools

Mr Truss also raised concerns why Queensland was the only state in Australia were participating schools in the controversial program weren't identified.

Safe Schools lists the name of the 530 schools who have signed up on its website.

But in the case of Queensland, the identity of the school is not disclosed.

The Daily has contacted the Education Department, Safe Schools Coalition and True, the program that administers Safe Schools in Queensland, asking why this is the case.

An Education Department spokesman declined to say which schools were involved.

"Principals, in consultation with the school community, are in the best position to make decisions about the most appropriate programs to meet the needs of their students," was the response.

True referred the Daily to Safe Schools and a response wasn't received by deadline.

Mr Truss said he aware the Queensland Teacher's Union supports the program and "probably a good teacher can find material that is helpful".

"Many parents feel they should be informed about what's happening in their school," he said.



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