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Education lecturer explains new school program promoting respectful relationships

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Education lecturer explains new school program promoting respectful relationships

A new school program promoting respectful relationships has arisen from high levels of domestic violence.

The State Government has released the new ?’respectful relationships’ education curriculum, designed to smash stereotypes around gender.

Gender stereotypes can be harmful, and can lead to domestic violence, unequal pay, and social intolerance.

Dr Debbie Ollis, one of the authors of the curriculum, told Neil Mitchell it’s more than just about learning what ‘cisgender’ or ‘pansexual’ means.

‘It actually comes out of a concern around the level of violence against women, rather than definitions of sexuality and gender,’ Dr Ollis said.

Dr Ollis said she wants children to know there are more options than are generally presented, and they are all okay.

‘We want to provide lots of options for kids, and we want them to build the capacity to be critical of the world they live in so they can be who they want to be,’ she said. 

But Neil isn’t sure schools should be prioritising this over other areas when resources are also stretched enough.

He also said this should be taught by parents at home and not by a ‘potential zealot’ in the classroom.

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Neil Mitchell
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