Australian school criticized for allowing cross-dressing

CANBERRA, Australia -- An Australian high school has been criticized for allowing students to wear boy or girl uniforms regardless of gender.

See Full Article

The Newtown High School of Performing Arts in inner Sydney changed its uniform policy last week to allow all students to "wear any part of the available uniform options," the New South Wales state education department said in a statement Wednesday.

Several parents and students hailed the change as a boon for transgender students, who previously needed parental approval and a psychologist's report to gain the school's permission to cross-dress.

The change was condemned as radical by the Australian Christian Lobby, an influential conservative advocacy group.

"It's a deeper problem than just boys choosing to wear a girl's skirt to school," ACL spokesman Wendy Francis said. "What they're trying to do in schools is make boys' and girls' gender disappear."

A number of federal government lawmakers this week backed the ACL's call to remove federal funding from a national program aimed at preventing bullying in schools of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

Almost 500 schools have signed up to the Safe Schools Coalition Australia, which runs the program that also advocates that schools allow students to cross-dress. It is not known how many schools adopted that uniform policy, but the education department said Newtown High was not the only one in New South Wales, Australia's most populous state. Newtown High declined to comment.

Maya Saric, who has two children aged 15 and 13 at Newtown High, described the change as progressive and responsive to students' needs.

"All the parents I mentioned it to didn't bat an eyelid and thought it was perfectly reasonable," Saric said.Malcom Turnbull

Prime Minister bent to pressure from government lawmakers by agreeing Tuesday to review the continuation of 8 million Australian dollars ($5.7 million) in federal funding for the Safe Schools program, which teaches students about gay and lesbian issues.

Turnbull was criticized by opposition lawmakers and the national teachers' union for launching the review.

Safe Schools Coalition Australia said it welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate to the federal government the positive impact of its program.

The group's website says it is a national coalition of organizations and schools working to create safe school environments for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Syrians left with few choices in search for safety

    World News CTV News
    SAFIRA, Syria -- Carrying her four-year-old son, Elham Saleh walked all night behind a smuggler, navigating land mines through Islamic State group- and rebel-held territory in northern Syria. Finally, they reached relative safety in Safira, a government-controlled village on the southern edge of the city of Aleppo, where they have been staying for the past two weeks. Source
  • Philippines, communist rebels resume peace talks in Rome

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines - Philippine negotiators and communist guerrillas are set to resume peace talks in Rome, with the Maoist insurgents warning that alleged government violations of an accord on human rights may prompt them to end a monthslong ceasefire. Source
  • Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush remains hospitalized

    World News CTV News
    HOUSTON - Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, remain hospitalized in Houston, where he was in intensive care for pneumonia and she was being watched after complaining of fatigue and coughing. The 92-year-old former president went into the ICU on Wednesday and underwent a procedure "to protect and clear his airway that required sedation," family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement. Source
  • At least 24 children killed after bus, truck collide in India

    World News CTV News
    LUCKNOW, India - A truck loaded with sand collided with a school bus early Thursday, killing at least 24 young children in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police said. At least two dozen other children were injured in the collision when the speeding truck collided head-on with the bus, said Javeed Ahmed, the state's top police official. Source
  • Fears deepen for Mexico ahead of Trump inauguration

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Donald Trump's assumption of the U.S. presidency couldn't come at a worse time for Mexico. Drug violence here is again on the upswing, the government has struggled to combat widespread corruption and nationwide protests have erupted after gasoline prices spiked this month amid the country's falling oil production and inability to produce all its own fuel. Source
  • Guatemalan president's son and brother detained in corruption probe

    World News CTV News
    GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemalan prosecutors detained the brother and son of President Jimmy Morales on Wednesday in a case of alleged corruption. A UN anti-graft commission said they are suspected of submitting about $23,000 worth of false receipts in an alleged tax fraud. Source
  • Ont. teen subject of Amber Alert wasn't actually abducted, police say

    Canada News CTV News
    MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Police in Peel Region west of Toronto say a 15-year-old girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert on Monday was not kidnapped as initially suspected. The alert had cited witnesses as saying the girl had been forced into a van in Mississauga by two men. Source
  • Okla. shooting victim saved by plate in neck: investigators

    World News CTV News
    TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - Investigators say a metal plate in an Oklahoma man's neck saved him from paralysis or worse when he was shot. Robert Thurman told 911 dispatchers Friday that his sister Gretchen Thurman shot him, The Tahlequah Daily Press reported. Source
  • South Korean court denies request to arrest Samsung Group chief

    World News CBC News
    A South Korean court on Thursday denied a special prosecutor clearance to arrest the head of Samsung Group, the country's largest conglomerate, amid a graft scandal that has led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. Source
  • Virginia man who killed noted musician and his family is executed

    World News CBC News
    Virginia has executed a man convicted of killing two young girls and their parents during a New Year's Day home invasion more than 11 years ago. Authorities say 39-year-old Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. Source