The former Prime Minister says the anti-bullying program is “social engineering” and its funding should be terminated.

Joining his colleagues in the attack on the Safe Schools program, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the program should be defunded immediately.

He is quoted as saying, “It’s not an anti-bullying program. It’s a social engineering program. Its funding should be terminated.”

The Safe Schools program, aimed towards supporting LGBTI students, was launched in 2014 with the help of the Abbott government.

Abbott’s statements come a week after six Coalition MPs voiced concerns over the content of the program. Many of the concerns heard are based around the idea that the Safe Schools program contains "age inappropriate material."

One Western Australian MP, Luke Simpkins, believes that discrimination against LGBTI individuals is exaggerated. He said last Thursday, “I have never met anyone that displays an extreme or irrational fear of homosexuality. I have an army background and a sporting background and never have I met anyone who has such fears.”

Coalition frontbencher Ken Wyatt has publicly stated that he has no problem with the program and that Abbott is entitled to comment on the situation.

Mr. Wyatt said, “Parents need to be informed that the school is implementing those programs and they should have the right to make a decision. But equally there are people who are caught in those stages of their emotional development where they want to make decisions based on information.”

Labor Senator Penny Wong said that when she assisted in securing the funding for the program in 2013, she did not expect “fair-minded people” to take issue with the program. She said, “I didn’t think people would have such an issue with their children being taught acceptance and tolerance.”

“The extent to which the hard right will go to perpetuate their views and, frankly, their prejudices, has been a sight to behold… Fundamentally, I hope most parents would be of the view that we should teach our children tolerance. That’s not a bad thing; to teach kids empathy.”

The review of the Safe Schools program is to be performed by two professors and is expected to be reported to the Federal Department of Education on 11 March.