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

  • Anti-Trudeau, anti-racism demonstrators clash in Toronto; four arrested

    Canada News CTV News
    A group of anti-Trudeau protesters and anti-racism counter-demonstrators clashed in Toronto on Saturday. According to organizers, the anti-Trudeau protest was planned as a means of expressing displeasure with the Liberal government’s tax policies, spending and controversial multi-million dollar settlement with former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr. Source
  • In photos: ISIS fighters [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    The war against ISIS has produced a plethora of villains that could have been ripped from the pages of a Marvel comic. A veritable super team of killers and kooks. This sick death cult has long preyed on the young, the foolish, the mentally unbalanced and other assorted losers. Source
  • Fox renewed Bill O'Reilly contract knowing of harassment allegations

    World News CBC News
    The Fox News Channel says the company knew a news analyst planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February. The New York Times reported Saturday the company renewed the TV host's contract after he reached a $32-million US settlement with the analyst. Source
  • Georgia Rep. Price says HIV comments taken out of context

    World News CTV News
    Reggie Batiste, left, program manager with AIDS Healthcare Foundation, administers a free HIV test as part of National HIV Testing Day, in Atlanta, on Thursday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Source
  • Ontario hands over last piece of land for Rouge National Urban Park, but skeptics remain

    Canada News CBC News
    More than three decades of work by environmentalists, activists and local politicians culminated Saturday with a major transfer of provincial land to complete the nearly 80-square kilometre Rouge National Urban Park in east Toronto. All in all, Ontario officially handed over its interests in 22.8-square kilometres of land to Parks Canada, which oversees all national parks in the country. Source
  • Bill 62 shows Trudeau's Islamophobia hypocrisy

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The hypocrisy Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau displayed last week regarding his often-stated commitment to rooting out “Islamophobia” in Canada is breathtaking. That’s because now that he’s confronted with what, according to his own definition, is a textbook example of “Islamophobia” — Bill 62 passed last week by the Liberal government of Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard — he’s hedging his bets and running for cover. Source
  • Funeral held for U.S. soldier at centre of Trump fight

    World News CTV News
    COOPER CITY, Fla. -- Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between U.S. President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him. Source
  • Populist billionaire's party wins big in Czech Republic election

    World News CTV News
    PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- The centrist ANO movement led by populist Andrej Babis decisively won the Czech Republic's parliamentary election Saturday in a vote that shifted the country to the right and paved the way for the euroskeptic billionaire to become its next prime minister. Source
  • Winnipeg police searching for missing 13-year-old girl

    Canada News CTV News
    Winnipeg police are searching for a 13-year-old girl that has been missing since Wednesday evening. “I’m worried sick,” Kierra Hather’s mother, Frances Mary Chartrand, told CTV Winnipeg on Saturday. “I don’t know what to think. Source
  • Foreigners who joined ISIS faced almost certain death in Raqqa

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- The forces fighting the remnants of the Islamic State group in Syria have tacit instructions on dealing with the foreigners who joined the extremist group by the thousands: Kill them on the battlefield. Source