The girl in question — neither her name nor the last names of her parents are being printed to protect their privacy — was allegedly sternly reprimanded by administrators, who insisted she never speak of such things again, or she’ll be expelled.
Brendan, one of her fathers, only came out recently. He initially enrolled his daughter at Foundation Christian College with his ex-wife:
“I was told that they don’t promote ‘gay’ at the school and [my daughter] was unable to talk about my life between [my partner] and me. She could mention my name, but she couldn’t talk about us being gay or relating to us as a couple, so … we were forced to say that she wasn’t allowed to talk about Daddy or [my partner] at all.”
“I told them that I expected my daughter to be able to talk about home life like any other kid in the class.”
Brendan claims the principal, Andrew Newhouse, told him he felt fooled at the interview.
“He said to me that ‘If we knew you were gay at the interview you would never have got in this school.’”
The two men decided to yank her from FCC and enroll her in public school to avoid further harassment.
“Why does my daughter have to go through this and lose her best friends due to the person I am?” Brendan asked. “I carry a lot of guilt and I hate that my daughter has to deal with her dad not being accepted.”
Newhouse told Mandura Mail that children of same-sex parents are indeed not welcome at the school.
“The [school] board are firm in their view that families have a mother and father who raise children jointly. The board also has a strong view that families with same-sex parents do not support a Christian world view. I mentioned to the parent that if his daughter was to continue this topic of discussion with her peers, then it would be in both his and his daughter’s interests to move to a school that would support his world view.”
Newhouse further elucidated to 9 News, saying the girl was openly discussing “her disappointment with Tony Abbott, the then-prime minister, not allowing her dad and his partner to marry.”
In a letter to parents, he wrote that the “Christian values being taught in the classroom were being undermined. It’s not helpful to confuse children at such a young age with complex and controversial issues.”
“She’s the one who brought it up,” argues Kim Simes, Midwest regional manager for the national nonprofit Family Equality Council,
so clearly it’s not confusing to a 7-year-old.”
She tells Yahoo Parenting:
“I think as adults, we’re the ones who muck it up and make these issues controversial. The kids are fine with it. That’s one of the worst forms of bullying there is — to be given the message of ‘your family isn’t worthy,’ and that this is not a safe place to talk about it. [It’s] horrific, and it breaks my heart to know that school officials, who are supposed to have the best interest of kids in mind, are using tactics like that.”
Despite the fact that it’s a Christian school, many parents disagree with the administration’s stance. They’ve emailed the school or posted their views on Facebook.
More than 20,000 have signed a Change.org petition, which urgse the local Minister for Education in Australia to “ban schools rejecting kids based on homophobia,” especially since the private school receives “millions of taxpayer dollars.”