The conservative group Australian Christian Lobby or ACL has criticized a high school's new policy of allowing male students to wear uniforms made for females. This is only one of the new policies implemented by the school that is being dubbed as part of rainbow politics.
Recently, the Newtown Performing Arts High School in Sydney, which takes pride in its progressive approach to teaching, has barred the social rules when it comes to classifying students' gender. According to the school, male students no longer have to seek formal permission to wear female clothes and uniforms in school. Also, those who identify themselves as girls are no free to use the female toilets, The Chronicle reported.
The move by the school was immediately questioned by the ACL and noted that it promotes radical thinking, which could then lead to students making rash decisions in their lives. Also, the group also mentioned that giving students the freedom to select their gender could make them more prone to bullying.
"I think the thing to remember is that no-one should be bullied at school," Lyle Shelton, the managing director of the ACL told ABC.net. "We have very good anti-bullying programs. No-one should be bullied for any reason at all. But these gender theory ideas go away beyond anti-bullying to almost proselytizing and trying to encourage and instruct young people in radical practices."
Despite protests from the ACL, some parents of the students agree with the school's new policies. Many of them noted that not restricting the personality of their children based on their genders can beneficial to the development of their identities.
"If children are really struggling with that issue, then they shouldn't be...forced into pigeonholes by the school," one parent said.
"They're facing enough turmoil and change and crisis of their own," she added. "It's not really relevant what color trousers they're wearing and whether they're wearing a skirt or shorts."
However, the matter of rainbow politics is not only restricted to Australia's schools and is already being viewed as a national issue.
In 2014, the Safe School Program was launched which focused on promoting the acceptance of LGBT students. However, various officials, including Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi noted that the program's teaching manual is not age-appropriate and could end up sexualizing children, The Sydney Morning Herald has learned.
Due to the issues raised by critics, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has agreed to re-review the controversial program.