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

  • Trump-McConnell feud threatens Republican agenda

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump can't enact his agenda without Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell may not have a majority to lead without Trump's help. It's simple, and still so complicated. The strangest bedfellows in Washington are locked in an increasingly public and personal feud that defies conventional wisdom. Source
  • Up to 2,300 border crossers entering Quebec are under 18: minister

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Up to one-third of the 7,000 people who have crossed illegally into Quebec from the U.S. in the last six weeks are children, the province's immigration minister said Wednesday. Quebec's education department is considering running programs for the kids -- including teaching classes -- inside the temporary shelters set up to house refugee applicants in the Montreal area, said Kathleen Weil. Source
  • More than 90 'persons of interest' in B.C. girl's death: Police

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    BURNABY, B.C. — Police say they have identified more than 90 “persons of interest” in their homicide investigation into the death of a 13-year-old girl whose body was found in a suburban Vancouver park last month. Marrisa Shen’s body was discovered in some brush at Central Park in Burnaby on July 19 and police say they have narrowed a timeline and provided investigators with her whereabouts on the previous day. Source
  • Kelly seeks to restore White House order ahead of key fights

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- In his first month on the job, White House chief of staff John Kelly has made significant progress toward imposing discipline on a chaotic operation, even as it's clear he still struggles to have the same effect on the president himself. Source
  • More than 63,000 customers blacked out by storms in Quebec

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    MONTREAL — More than 63,000 Hydro-Quebec customers were without electricity early Wednesday after severe thunderstorms ripped through southern Quebec, Montreal and the Laurentian region north of the city. Most of the outages were in the Montreal area affecting more than 42,000 homes and businesses, with another 8,000 blackouts reported in the Laurentians and a further 7,500 in communities south of Montreal. Source
  • 1-armed man arrested with machete, clown mask calls it prank

    World News CTV News
    BIDDEFORD, Maine -- A one-armed Maine man accused of startling neighbours by going for a stroll wearing a clown mask and brandishing a machete says it was supposed to be a prank. Thirty-one-year-old Hollis resident Corey Berry pleaded not guilty Wednesday to criminal threatening and weapons charges. Source
  • Military police charge recruit with sexual assault, second case this month

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A military recruit has been charged with sexual assault in relation to a series of alleged incidents at a Quebec training camp last fall, the second such case in as many weeks. Military police say the most recent charges relate to the alleged assault of three people undergoing basic training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in November. Source
  • Police identify 90 persons of interest in death of B.C. teen Marrisa Shen

    Canada News CTV News
    BURNABY, B.C. -- Police say they have identified more than 90 "persons of interest" in their homicide investigation into the death of a 13-year-old girl whose body was found in a suburban Vancouver park last month. Source
  • Woman claims stranger's ashes in father's urn, sues for $2.5M

    World News Toronto Sun
    PORTLAND, Ore. — A woman is suing an Oregon cremation company for $2.5 million, claiming it gave her the remains of a stranger instead of her deceased father. Kimberly Grecco, 53, discovered the remains were her not her father’s as she prepared to spread the ashes on Father’s Day last year, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday. Source
  • Bans on campfires, backcountry travel lifted in B.C. as wildfire risk drops

    Canada News CTV News
    WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. -- Restrictions on travel to British Columbia's backcountry and campfires are slowly being lifted in some parts of the province as improved conditions have lowered the wildfire risk. Campfires are once again allowed in most areas of the Prince George and northwest fire centres while officials from the BC Wildfire Service say a ban prohibiting access to the backcountry in the Cariboo region will also be rescinded by the end of the day. Source