Premier Daniel Andrews said the Victorian government would use “every legal means” to defend its laws.
Brisbane’s Citipointe Christian College sparked national outrage last week when it said it would only register students according to the gender that matched their biological sex. The school has now withdrawn the enrollment contract and the principal has resigned.
Australian Association of Christian Schools president John Metcalfe said he was not aware of any Christian school that expelled a student for being gay or transgender.
Mr Metcalfe, who is also principal of Plenty Valley Christian College in Doreen, said Christian schools were more concerned with the ability to employ staff with similar values than with the sexual orientation or gender identity of the students. students.
Gay and trans students are protected from discrimination in public schools in Victoria.
Some Victorian denominational schools have been very supportive of transgender students.
King David School, a coeducational Jewish school in Armadale, said it welcomes transgender and gender-nonconforming students. The school has gender-neutral bathrooms, there are a variety of uniform options, and students are generally not referred to as “boys” and “girls.”
There is also staff and student training to support transgender and gender non-conforming students.
“Our core Jewish principles of egalitarianism, inclusiveness and tikun olam (social justice) mean that we strive to create an inclusive and safe environment for all of our students and staff,” said principal Marc Light.
Last year, a student at Xavier College, one of Melbourne’s oldest all-boys Catholic colleges, identified as a girl in Year 12.
“We affirm it in his decision,” Principal William Doherty and Rector Fr. Chris Middleton wrote in a parent newsletter at the time. “We will continue to welcome, care for and educate our student in every way.”
The report card stated that the school was aware that this subject could provoke a range of opinions and thoughts, but that it rejected prejudice and discrimination in all their forms. “Jesus, of course, was the great inclusive, often defying the norms of his time centered on universal principles of love and inclusion.”
The president of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Adel Salman, said he would be surprised if Islamic schools were not already enrolling gay and transgender students.
“No Islamic school that I know of has actually done so much harm to children because of their sexuality or sexual orientation, so even if it becomes law, I think Islamic schools – because of their duty to take care of children – will deal with this with sensitivity and will certainly not cause harm or trauma to children.
Miles said Koo Wee Rup Secondary College immediately changed its name and pronouns when he came out as transgender in September last year and contacted the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority to ensure his details were correct when Exams.
“They have been absolutely amazing from the start. It has been a blessing,” he said.
“The deputy director invited me to a meeting just to discuss anything that could help me. I can use any restroom, but she gave me a pass for the unisex and disabled restroom just to be more comforting and private.”
Miles said retaining the right to expel transgender students from faith-based schools made the wider community believe it was okay to discriminate against people on the basis of faith.
“One of my biggest supporters is my music teacher. He’s a Christian, he has faith, but he’s the most tolerant person I know,” he says.
“And it just shows you that when someone has so much faith in religion, like a man like him, you can still live happily ever after and support whoever you want no matter what.
Miles said he was in the men’s room of a public restroom recently adjusting his binder, a garment some transgender people use to flatten their chests.
“Obviously someone saw… and chased me down the street and beat me up. He assaulted me – a grown man who beat a 16 year old in broad daylight.
Jeremy Wiggins, chief executive of Transcend Australia, an organization that supports trans children and their families and carers, said public debates about transgender students foster hateful attitudes in the wider community.
“These are the side effects and the consequences of these kinds of debates and that is why the government must take responsibility for protecting trans children,” he said.
Mr Wiggins said Transcend Australia was contacted every day by parents and carers who feared their transgender children were being bullied, teased and physically attacked at school just for being themselves.
“These kinds of bills that are enshrined in law only give rise to these negative attitudes that seek to discriminate against a small minority group who face one of the highest suicide rates in Australia.”
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