Past Anglican School Students Slam Calls For LGBT Discrimination Law Exemption

Former students have slammed the letter sent by the principals of 34 prestigious Anglican diocese schools in Sydney. The letter asks federal MPs to protect exemptions in the Sex Discrimination Act that allow these schools to to fire queer teachers.

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However in the letter, detailed by the ABC, the principals claim there is little evidence of schools dismissing gay staff and students.

Instead: “the issue at hand is the right to employ staff who support the ethos of the school.” 

The principals believe their teachers, their “powerful mentors” must support the same values, ethos, and mission of their school.

“It is not appropriate, for example, for a teacher to undermine or denigrate the beliefs and teachings of an employing school,” the letter reads.

Until such times as religious freedom is codified in legislation, the exemptions should remain.” 

The letter was sent following the Government’s decision to introduce anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBTQ+ teachers and students.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also received the letter.

Among the 34 schools are Abbotsleigh, Trinity Grammar School, The King’s School, The Illawarra Grammar School, Barker College, and Penrith Anglican College. 

Tash, a former student of both Barker college and Tara Anglican School told PEDESTRIAN.TV she was “absolutely horrified” to see two of her former headmasters had signed the letter.

“Barker and Tara always preached messages of acceptance and community, so for the figureheads of each institution to willingly align themselves with such a harmful and prejudices petition, directed at their own teachers and kids, is shocking – not to mention hypocritical.

“It must be noted that these headmasters definitely don’t represent everyone in the school communities.”

Scout Boxall, another former student of an Anglican college, described the teachings of Christ in three words: “love, tolerance, respect.” 

“If these principals truly lived by the teachings of Christ, they would be going out of their way to hire excellent LGBTQ teachers to provide positive role models to their queer students and promote a school community where everyone can live, work and learn safely. 

“Knowing that I had to keep my sexuality hidden from the leadership at my Anglican school undoubtedly contributed to an overwhelming sense of isolation and shame in my teens. This letter is just another example of schools that prioritise the appearance of morality over care for their students and staff.”

Since the ABC’s article was published, the full letter  – dated October 25 – has appeared on Twitter where members of the public quickly denounced its contents.