The Australian Christian Lobby claims the Andrews Government’s Respectful Relationships school program, has failed to make any impact in stemming youth violence in Victoria. It urged the State Education Department to replace the initiative with what it called “authentic anti-bullying resources, devoid of hidden agendas.”
ACL State Director Jasmine Yuen says the program was promoted as a means to teach young people to show respect and stop violence, “but it has failed our kids.” She adds that a recent spate of violent attacks involving teenagers are proof it hasn’t worked. They included a boy being fatally wounded on a street; two young people being attacked in a shopping centre; and students allegedly assaulting teachers.
Mrs. Yuen says these incidents add to the evidence that “the ideologically driven Respectful Relationships program is doing nothing to foster a culture of respect amongst our school children.”
The ACL’s Victorian director noted that Federal Labor MP for the Melbourne electorate of Higgins, Dr. Michelle Ananda-Rajah, wrote to Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and the state police minister about similar concerns, expressing a view that carrying a knife is becoming normalised for some children in Melbourne.
Mrs. Yuen concluded it’s time to axe the program from schools, and explore other options to get students “back on the right track.”