If you were worried about sex education classes that encouraged sexual relations between teenage girls and boys, you might now have something even more serious on your plate: indoctrination of kids against “heterosexism”.

A report in the Australian Daily Telegraph today reveals that a programme teaching that it is wrong to regard heterosexuality as the norm for relationships is being piloted in 12 schools in the Australian state of New South Wales. There’s a similar programme in the state of Victoria. Academics and sexual libertarian groups such as Family Planning have had a heavy hand in them.

The target of these programmes is not just anti-gay discrimination and bullying but something much more radical — what the theorists of the sexual diversity movement call “heteronormativity”. Training for teachers in the Proud Schools scheme advises them to “focus on the dominance of heterosexism rather than on homophobia”. Watch out for that other h-word.

The program defines “heterosexism” as the practice of “positioning heterosexuality as the norm for human relationship,” according to the Proud Schools Consultation Report.

“It involves ignoring, making invisible or discriminating against non-heterosexual people, their relationships and their interests. Heterosexism feeds homophobia.”

The pilot programme, which is costing AU$250,000, is to be “made available” to non-government schools, according to a statement made by the NSW education minister, Adrian Piccoli, last year. The minister seems to realise he is on shaky ground with this scheme as he has tried to distance himself from it this week, pointing out that it was launched under a former (Labour) government.

Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine gives further details of the Proud Schools programme in a blog entry. She says it includes “celebrations of diversity for students” and “embedding discussion of sexuality and gender diversity into the classroom”.

The Victorian “Safe Schools Coalition” programme, she says, “holds that gender and sexuality are not fixed but fluid concepts. Students are taught not to think about gender and sexuality in a ‘binary’ way, as in male/female or gay/straight, but as part of a continuum of choices.”

The NSW programme appears to assume that between 7 percent and 10 percent of young people are attracted to people of their own sex. This echoes the long-discredited Kinsey figure. Most studies now put the figure for homosexuality at 2 to 3 percent of the population. Proud Schools also draws on a paper that claims 80 percent of homophobic abuse and violence for young people occurs at schools, and that “violence and abuse is sustained and embedded in school culture”.

Oddly enough, though, principals quoted in a consultation document on the scheme said they did not have much overt homophobia at their schools, and the NSW Education Department appears not to have had a single safety and security incident report relating to homophobia in seven years.

As Devine concludes:

… It’s not up to academics to dictate attitudes to society via indoctrination of captive children in classrooms, and it’s irresponsible of politicians to allow them to do so.

Parents expect their children to go to school to learn basic skills, and become socialised. They expect a safe environment in which everyone is treated with respect and without bullying.

But they also don’t expect that their values should be subverted by homosexual or any other propaganda.

And they don’t expect that widespread acceptance of heterosexuality as the most common human experience would be demonised.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet