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To: NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli
Let my child watch 'Gayby Baby' in school hours
Reverse your ban on NSW public schools screening Gayby Baby during school hours.
Why is this important?
My daughter's school in Leichhardt, NSW was one of around 50 schools in Australia that had organised to screen the Gayby Baby movie - as part of national Wear it Purple day, a campaign for the inclusion of diverse genders and sexualities in schools.
I was over the moon that my daughter would have the opportunity to watch this film along with her schoolmates, some of whom themselves are gay, lesbian or bisexual or have same-sex parents. It was a great chance for the kids to discuss the content of the film together in an open and accepting way.
But on Wednesday, NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli sent a memo to every NSW principal BANNING them from showing this documentary during class time. Since when does the Education Minister intervene to ban a movie? This is deeply upsetting, and so very disappointing.
Minister Piccoli has gone too far.
The NSW Department of Education guidelines on film screenings do not prohibit showing films with homosexual themes and advise that films with an M+ rating can be shown at the discretion of the principal. Gayby Baby has been rated PG.
Gayby is a documentary about kids growing up, in this case in a same-sex family. It's a real gift for kids to have the opportunity to watch a film told from kids' perspectives, and gives them a chance to openly discuss what it means to be a family. For Mr Piccoli to ban the screening of this film during class time sends a terrible message to the kids of today. Piccoli's ban is a unacceptable statement that this government doesn't want our kids learning about same-sex families, at least not on their watch.
I want my two children to grow up in an Australia where they, their friends, and family members can be proud of who they are, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. The Gayby Baby documentary teaches kids that there is more than one way to make a family and fundamentally teaches us to be open, accepting and loving towards each other. What could be more educational than that?