George Christensen and Cory “Dogfucker” Bernardi have been exceptionally vocal – and, unfortunately, successful – about defunding the Safe Schools anti-bullying program, an opt-in program that schools could run to try and minimise homophobic and transphobic bullying, and to provide help to students that are (or think they might be) gay/bi/ace/pan/queer/etc or trans.
Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, has defied the government and said that if they cut federal funding to Safe Schools, he’ll make sure it’s still funded from the state budget so that schools can still choose to run it. Since writing this, the ACT has joined Victoria, which is heartening to me in the face of all this vitriol. If the Safe Schools program had been around back when I was in high school, who knows. Maybe my memories of that time wouldn’t be of a mephistophelian hellscape whence whose event horizon no hope escaped; but again, who can really say.