NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, has banned all public schools in NSW from showing a controversial film about gay parenting during normal school hours.
Piccoli yesterday sent a memo to all public school principals ordering them not to show the film Gayby Baby instead of school lessons.
Up to 50 schools had been planning to show the film during school hours as part of a nationwide Wear it Purple day to promote sexual inclusion.
The move follows a backlash over a former student’s plans to air the video during school hours at the Sydney girls’ school she used to attend.
Maya Newell, a former student of Burwood Girls High School and director of the documentary, had organised for the school’s 1,200 students to watch the video during school hours. The documentary follows the lives of four children raised by same-sex parents.
However, some parents of students at the school publicly raised concerns after learning of the school's plans.
Following the backlash, Piccoli has now directed the Department of Education to ensure the film is not shown in school hours. The Minister said that while he had not seen the documentary, it had no place in the curriculum.
"Schools are not places for political issues to be aired," Piccoli told 2GB Radio.
"During school hours we expect them to be doing maths and English and curriculum matters. This movie is not part of the curriculum and that's why I've made that direction.”
Sydney MP, Alex Greenwich, called Piccoli’s decision "absurd and deeply disappointing."
"From a personal perspective, if I had seen a film that showed that gay and lesbian people can have loving and stable families and are just as normal as everyone else, that would have a positive and profound impact on my confidence and self-identity,” Greenwich told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"It is not a controversial film. It just shows that rainbow families are just as normal as any other.”