Marrickville Council Declares Support For Safe SchoolsMarrickville Council will sign the Safe Schools pledge.

The recent attacks on the Safe Schools program have led many people to show continued support for the program.

The attacks led the Federal Government to withdraw funds and restrict how the lessons were implemented. The new rules require students to have parental permission to participate in the program – a stipulation that forces LGBTIQ youth to “out” themselves.

Safe Schools is designed to create a safe and inclusive environment free from homophobic and transphobic bullying. While the program focuses on LGBTIQ youth and gender diversity, it also encourages valuing diversity in the wider community.

Mayor of Marrickville, Councillor Sam Iskandar, said, “The Marrickville local government area has one of the highest percentages of LGBTIQ people of any council in Australia. We already collaborate with ACON on their anti-violence project, Safe Places, which aims to create an official safe, welcoming and accepting environment for LGBTIQ people. So this is a natural continuation for Council. We have been proud to support LGBTIQ rights over so many years.”

The council voted to authorise the Mayor to sign the Safe Schools pledge on behalf of the Council.

The pledge reads:

“We believe schools should provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students, so they can learn, grow, and reach their full potential – free from bullying and discrimination.

“We pledge to stand up against homophobia and transphobia whenever we see or hear it. We are proud to support Safe Schools Coalition Australia and its work to create positive change for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families.”

In addition to signing the pledge, the council will notify all local schools about the continued support for the program. The Marrickville Council also plans to write to the Federal government to request that it reinstate the Safe Schools program in its original form. Another request will be sent to the State Government requesting that they help fund the program in all NSW schools.