Australia’s national education institution has issued a statement to staff and students urging them to “respect and abide by the rights and principles of equality”.
Key points:The national education institute says it will now have an “open dialogue” with all staff and staff members about how to address issues with “gender identity”In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Australian Education Union (AEU) says it has “no doubt” that “this is the first of many” of the organisations it has identified as having a problem with “transgender” students and their teachers.
“There are a number of people in our society who are uncomfortable with a transgender person and they have the right to be,” the statement reads.
“We do not want to be in the business of discriminating against anyone.
We do not believe that there is any reason to be concerned.”
The statement is part of the group’s “open dialog” with staff and members.
The ABC contacted the Australian education association for comment but did not receive a response by time of publication.
The statement goes on to say: “As a society we value the rights of every individual.
We understand that our actions can have a significant impact on the lives of many people.”
The ABC has contacted the Victorian Education Department for comment and will update this story if we receive a reply.
But the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said it is “not a safe place” for a person to be.
“It is an incredibly difficult subject to talk about,” AHRC chair Dr Karen Smith said.
“But there are some important principles that we should all be able to agree on: that everyone has the right not to be discriminated against, regardless of their gender identity or expression.”
This includes discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, pregnancy, pregnancy-related health conditions, marital status, marital and family status, religion or belief, or gender expression.
“And it is an absolutely fundamental right to live free from discrimination based upon those identities.”‘
I’m happy to say no’The statement comes amid the government’s “gender-neutral” policy, which has been criticised by the ABC’s Dan Sheridan for not allowing schools to “discriminate”.
Under the policy, schools will now be required to provide a gender-neutral bathroom for all students.
But in a statement, the Victorian Government said it was not aware of any schools that did not comply.
“Schools are required to comply with all Victorian law, and this policy will ensure they do so,” the ministry said.
But Mr Smith said the government should not be “pushing for schoolchildren to use bathrooms that are not gender-specific”.
“It’s not just that they are transphobic, it’s that they’re a form of discrimination,” she said.
Ms Smith said there was no reason to have a “transphobic” policy.
“If you are going to force children to use the wrong gender, that’s not OK,” she added.
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