The Greens today pledged to extend the safe schools program to TAFEs and all secondary schools and called on the Liberal Party to commit to funding Safe Schools after Federal Government funding is cut on 30 June 2017.
Greens Lynn MacLaren MLC said while the ALP had made its intention to fund Safe Schools clear, the Liberal Party had failed to commit to funding the vital set of resources designed to protect LGBTIQA+ young people in schools, despite confirmation from the Turnbull Government that it was “never an intention to fund the program beyond [2017.]”
“I call on Colin Barnett to pledge that if he wins the election next month, his party will guarantee funding for this live-saving initiative in the event that Federal funding is cut,” Ms MacLaren, spokesperson for sexuality and gender identity, said.
“Not only that, I’d like to see Safe Schools rolled out not only to ALL WA secondary schools, but also to TAFEs.
“Young people at TAFE face the same challenges with bullying that they face at high school.
“Universities in WA all offer support for LGBTIQA+ students in different forms, whether it be a dedicated Queer department or support groups in other forms – but TAFE students are missing out on this vital support as things stand now.
“It was raised with me by a TAFE lecturer at a pre-election forum this week that three LGBTIQA+ young people had taken their lives while studying at TAFE.”
Ms MacLaren noted that it should not be up to independent public schools to find the resources within their already stretched budgets to self-fund Safe Schools.
She said the safety and emotional wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ students across the State depended on having access to the support offered by the Safe Schools initiative.