SINCE George Floyd’s death as a result of a Minnesota policeman’s unjustified and reprehensible actions, the Black Lives Matter movement, like an ever-threatening infection, has spread across the Anglosphere – and Australia is not immune.
Recently, a class of students at the Linfield Learning Village school in Sydney were involved in designing BLM inspired posters with statements such as ‘Stop Killer Cops’, ‘Pigs out of the country’ and ‘White lives matter too much’.
As stated by the New South Wales Minister for Police, David Elliot, in the Daily Telegraph: ‘As Police Minister I am not going to cop it … it is a disgraceful act to have any educational institution allow this sort of engagement with its students and to have any students exposed to this sort of attitude.’
Sarah Mitchell, the Education Minister, is also right to condemn this blatant act of cultural-Left, politically correct indoctrination. She says: ‘Political activism has no place in a school. I have asked the Secretary (of the NSW Department of Education) to initiate a full review into this incident.’
While both ministers must be applauded for calling out this appalling example of a school promoting cultural-Left mind control and groupthink, what parents and the public need to realise is that it’s been happening for years. The BLM posters made public this week are simply the tip of the iceberg.
Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, neo-Marxist-inspired politically correct teachers, academics and union leaders have targeted schools and the school curriculum in their long march through the institutions to overthrow what they condemn as a capitalist, white supremacist, male-dominated society.
In 1983 Joan Kirner, the one-time Premier of Victoria and Minister for Education, argued at a Fabian Society meeting that schools must be ‘part of the socialist struggle for equality, participation and social change rather than an instrument of the capitalist system’.
At the same time, in one of the popular texts set for teacher training courses, academics argued that the education system must be used to overthrow the ‘conservative hegemony’ imposed by Western, capitalist society and that ‘the process of education and the process of liberation are the same’.
The Australian Education Union, including the New South Wales Teachers’ Federation, also argues that Australian society is riven with inequality and injustice and that the school curriculum must be used to promote equality of outcomes where all students, regardless of ability or intellect, are able to achieve success.
The AEU’s 1993 Curriculum Policy tells teachers that instead of educating students about the strengths and benefits of societies such as Australia, they must teach how ‘the economy, the sexual division of labour, the dominant culture and the education system (are) reproducing inequality’.
One of the nation’s peak education bodies is the Australian Curriculum Studies Association. In its 1998 publication Going Public, described by its editor as an ‘unashamedly partisan book’, it also condemns Australian society as racist, xenophobic and imbued with ‘deep-seated prejudices, hatreds and fears’.
Such is the dominance of neo-Marxist-inspired ideology that after the Howard government was re-elected in 2004, an editorial in the national journal of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English told teachers they had failed to teach students how to think, because too many young people voted conservative.
More recently, the AATE has proven its radical credentials by telling English teachers they must stop teaching gender specific pronouns such as ‘he’ and ‘she’ and embrace literature that makes ‘visible positive representations of diverse genders and sexualities in order to normalise lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, plus (LGBTIQ+) lifestyles’.
The so-called Safe Schools programme, available to schools nationally over the last four to five years, also promotes a neo-Marxist inspired view of gender and sexuality – one where children as a young as eight and nine are told girls can be boys and boys can be girls and that parents need not be told if their child wants to transition.
Under liberal and labour governments, both state and commonwealth, the sad reality is that education has long since been captured by the cultural-Left.
As I discovered when reviewing the national curriculum in 2014, the emphasis is on politically correct fads such as multiculturalism and indigenous, Asian, and sustainability studies.
Instead of the curriculum being impartial, balanced and teaching students what the Victorian Blackburn Report describes as Western civilisation’s ‘best validated knowledge and artistic achievements’. students are being turned into New Age cultural-Left warriors.
Even worse, schools are now replacing parents as their children’s primary educators and moral guardians by imposing a curriculum teaching radical gender theory – a black armband view of Australian history, that all boys and men are misogynist and violent and that Western civilisation is racist, sexist and guilty of white supremacism.
As to whether cultural-Left mind control and groupthink will be banished from the classroom, only time will tell. But, based on the last 40 years, expect more of the same.
And, as noted by Roger Scruton in Culture Counts, classrooms across the United Kingdom are also not immune to the plague of critical theory and political correctness.