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Sydney Mardi Gras 1978 - NSW Government apologies


Graeme

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Sydney Mardi Gras - NSW Government apologies to first generation of protesters

Also in the article is the apology from the Sydney Morning Herald for publishing the names and details of those arrested on the front page back in 1978.

It's amazing how far Australian culture has come in the last almost 40 years, though there are still people who seem to be living back in that era....

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Wow. I had no idea. I've read all about New York but didn't realize the global reach of the demonstrations and repercussions thereof. For every step forward there is a price, and it seems that there are those willing - or called upon - to pay. It's just sad that it takes so long sometimes to begin putting things to rest.

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As a partial indication of how far Australia has come since those days, the National Rugby League (NRL) will have a float in this year's Mardi Gras parade. And as an indication of how far we still have to go, the Federal Government has initiated an inquiry into an anti-bullying campaign for schools that focuses on gay, lesbian, and transgender students.

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I confess to having reservations about specific anti-bullying campaigns in our schools. I have two admittedly vague reasons for those reservations.

First of all, which anti-bullying targets are we to focus on this year? LGBTI? Fat kids? Redheads? Left handers? Hispanics? Muslims? Non-athletes? Uber-smarties? Physically disabled? Buck teeth? etc. etc. etc.? By the time each group has its say in the classroom, there will barely be enough time left in the school year for all the standardized tests, let alone actual learning.

Secondly, why should we leave such teaching up to the schools? Are we really sure that the same teachers who've proven to be such failures in educating our kids should be the ones teaching them to respect others? Sure there are some good ones, but I'll bet that those are often the same ones who reinforce positive character in their students already.

Don't get me wrong -- kids need to learn about treating people fairly. But from whom can they really learn it? I don't think political action groups are any better than other sources. It used to be the family.

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I confess to having reservations about specific anti-bullying campaigns in our schools. I have two admittedly vague reasons for those reservations.

First of all, which anti-bullying targets are we to focus on this year? LGBTI? Fat kids? Redheads? Left handers? Hispanics? Muslims? Non-athletes? Uber-smarties? Physically disabled? Buck teeth? etc. etc. etc.? By the time each group has its say in the classroom, there will barely be enough time left in the school year for all the standardized tests, let alone actual learning.

Secondly, why should we leave such teaching up to the schools? Are we really sure that the same teachers who've proven to be such failures in educating our kids should be the ones teaching them to respect others? Sure there are some good ones, but I'll bet that those are often the same ones who reinforce positive character in their students already.

Don't get me wrong -- kids need to learn about treating people fairly. But from whom can they really learn it? I don't think political action groups are any better than other sources. It used to be the family.

When I was in high school (I graduated in 2007) there were and still are strong anti-bullying regulations that students and their parents/guardians had to agree to and sign each school year in order to register to attend school. Bullying and repercussions are outlined in the Student Handbook. There is an anti-bullying campaign with movies (Bully and others), assemblies, posters and flyers, and classroom discussions. There is a Bullying Prevention Month. The administration takes strong action when bullying is reported and verified. Repercussions included detention, suspension, and being expelled and transferred to the continuation high school. All bullying, physical, verbal, and cyber, is included. Teachers receive anti-bullying training so they can recognize when it happens and report it to the administration. Kids are encouraged to take anti-bullying training through the Safe School Ambassador program. Several of the school clubs put on anti-bullying programs.

Most parents don't ever discuss bullying with their kids unless one of them (rarely) says he or she is being bullied. So a policy of "leave it up to the family" to have discussions about bullying are not effective.

Colin :icon_geek:

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This idea kids have at school, especially middle school, that telling is ratting (snitching, informing) on the perp and that's the lowest someone can get, needs to be stamped out permanently.

Colin :icon_geek:

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