How I accidentally fell into a fight to stop the sexualisation of my kids.
On 25th November 2022, our morning routine had gone well. It was time to take the kids to school and I was on a bit of a run with hitting my daily step goal, so I thought I’d walk my daughter to her primary school.
This led me to walk past the school office (not my normal path when driving to school) and to my surprise see a sign on the office door from the organisation Minus18 that read, “All Sexualities, Genders, Identities and Cultures Welcome Here.”
How strange, I thought. For a start, kids don’t have sexualities, and there are only two genders at the school and in real life (boys and girls), and the school seemed like a welcoming place, so why did we need an inappropriate sign?
My daughter is quite a good reader and she could easily read this and ask me about it. I don’t want her to think about this, she’s six. She should be learning the fundamentals at school and having fun with her friends.
What to do with this sign? Let it go, it’s just a sign? Or raise my concerns because if they’ve put up a sign like this, what else is going on that I’m not aware of?
After a week or so, I finally plucked up the courage to meet with the Principal. After an email with the school administration staff, we arranged for her to meet me on 6th December.
On the 6th, I headed into the school, extremely nervous. Hoping for a good outcome. Hoping to raise the issue of sexualising our kids and to get a fair hearing. But before I was even able to meet with the Principal as I arrived for our meeting, it became apparent that though I thought I’d come to speak about one poster, I was dealing with something much more significant.
When I walked into the office, I was met with multiple signs from the LGBTI+ movement. There was a giant rainbow flag hanging on the wall and multiple posters encouraging me to watch GAYBY BABY, telling me to be an ally, amongst other things. Now I’ve got no problem with people promoting their vision of the good life, but the sexualised nature of this seemed out of place in the office of a primary school.
So I was quite put off by what I saw in the office, but I tried not to let it worry me. Yes, we were no longer going to be talking about just one poster, but still, I was hoping we’d have a good meeting together.
Eventually, the Principal came out to meet me and we went to her office. This was probably the worst moment of my visit. As we walked in, I realised I wasn’t going to be having a chat with someone open to hearing me, but with what appeared to be a rainbow warrior.
The Principal’s office was quite stunning really. Her desk was draped in a rainbow flag. Her noticeboard was covered in LGBTI+ pamphlets and posters, and in the middle of them all was the Tasmanian State Premier, proudly telling me to become an ally.
Not only was the Principal drinking the Kool-Aid of sexualising our kids, but it seemed her office was designed to show me she did so with the backing of the government, all the way up to the Premier.
At this point, I should probably point out that if this was a secular club full of adults making up their own minds about how to live their lives, then in 21st-century Australia I’d expect a lot of rainbow information and LGBTI+ information. I’d also expect that as a Christian with traditional views to be in the minority.
But this is not an adult social club or secular workplace, it’s a school, and a primary school at that. And values and morals are the job of parents to impart to their children. Not only that, but there is something significantly different between homosexual identities and the gender fluidity/trans ideology flooding in under the rainbow flag. The two need to be separated.
But all that aside, as I sat there in the Principal’s office, to say I was put off by the sheer quantity of what I had seen in both offices is an understatement, and I don’t think our meeting went that well. I wasn’t as prepared as I should’ve been and she outgunned me. She didn’t agree that the poster was inappropriate, nor did she think it sexualised our kids.
I did however leave with one small win. The poster I argued was from an organisation that primary school kids had no business being made aware of (Minus18 — more on them another day) and in seeking to be inclusive, the sign actually excluded people of faith/religion (she tried to argue “cultures” included faith, but I explained quite clearly this is not the case).
I left the meeting overwhelmed, but with a verbal agreement from the Principal that she would take the sign down and put up a new sign that read “All Sexualities, Genders, Identities, Cultures, and FAITHS Welcome Here.” This would be more inclusive — and remove the Minus18 references from the school. Not ideal, but a small win I was happy to live with.
Two weeks passed. And the sign remained, though the Minus18 logo was taped over (and it was taped over on only one of the three copies of that sign I saw in the school). Where was the new sign?
Having had more time to reflect and having seen the Principal make no moves to do what she had said she would do, I sent her an email on 20th December saying I understood it was the end of the year and things were busy, so I’d made a better sign that was more inclusive. The sign was designed in the school colours and read, “Everyone Welcome Here.” I suggested she put this sign up as a good compromise that achieved maximum inclusion. How would she respond?
Thanks for your email. After our conversation, I spoke with staff and they were of the opinion that the word ‘identities’ encompasses ‘faith’.
Thank you for the poster you have developed, we’ll be happy to place those around the school too.
If I don’t see you again have a happy and safe holiday period and I look forward to seeing you again next year.
Rather shockingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, she had completely dismissed me and failed to inform me of her intention to do nothing. One assumes that given our meeting was on 6 December that the conversation she referenced in her email to me on the 20th didn’t happen on the 19th and was most likely to have happened sometime in the week of the 12th-16th. We had a couple of back-and-forths where she continued to completely dismiss my concerns.
Later that day, I sent a long email to her outlining my concerns once again and my displeasure at her actions to marginalise me as a person of faith and sexualise our kids. I also noted that despite these disagreements, my desire was to work with her to see our school be a place where learners (students) thrive. I received no response, and have not to this day.
So what happened next? School holidays started the next day, and so we’ll pick the story up in Term 1 2023 (mid-March). I’d love to connect with you if you’ve had to face a battle like this in your school, especially if you’re in Tasmania, but anywhere really. Iron sharpens iron and the only way we can protect our kids is if we work together to defeat the sexualisation of children in secular education. Subscribe to find out what happens next in my unfolding story.
Originally published at Chris’ Substack. Photo by Yan Krukau.