Schools boss denies 'dad' and 'mum' ban
By staff writers and wires
April 17, 2008 09:29am
Education boss denies ban on supposedly anti-gay terms 'Husband' and 'wife' reported as on banned words list, Eduction boss says schools won't tolerate discrimination
SCHOOLS will not move to stop using words like mum and dad, or girlfriend and boyfriend, the New South Wales Education Department says, despite reports that public schools are under pressure to provide gay-friendly environments.
Changes to terminology, such as using the word "partner" to cover heterosexual relationships, are being sought by gay lobbyists bent on reducing discrimination in a major anti-homophobia push in the state's schools, The Daily Telegraph reports.
But Department of Education and Training director-general Michael Coutts-Trotter says there is no move to stop using terms such as boyfriend, girlfriend, mum or dad in public school classrooms.
Media reports that there are moves to stop using these terms are "simply wrong", Mr Coutts-Trotter said today.
"Public schools do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, whether on the grounds of religion, race, disability, gender or sexual preference," he said.
"Schools have to be sanctuaries for children; they must be free of any sort of discrimination, bullying or harassment.
"However, this does not include imposing a new politically correct language in schools."
Debate over books used to teach young children about gay lifestyles has been a hot issue in the past.
Two years ago argument became heated over a push to have books such as Jed and His Dads and The Rainbow Cubbyhouse taught in Sydney daycare centres.
Yesterday the Australian Association of National Advertisers announced major changes to its code of conduct banning future advertisements for kids' products from including sexual imagery or implying that children - classed as 14 or under - are sexual beings.