New South Wales ministers are calling for the sacking of an Australian primary school teacher after anti-police and Black Lives Matter posters, which were created by the students, were found displayed around the classroom.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Year 5 and 6 students at Lindfield Learning Village in Sydney made placards which said “Stop killer cops” and “White lives matter too much.” It also included other slogans such as “We can’t breathe” and “Pigs out of the country.”
New South Wales (NSW) Police Minister David Elliott called for the teacher to be sacked and said the posters were evidence of the political “indoctrinating and brainwashing” of left-wing ideologies in schools.
“We’re supposed to be telling our kids that if you wear a uniform, you’re a hero,” Elliot told 2GB radio. “They have completely let their student body down by indoctrinating and brainwashing them at a time when they should be learning how to read and write.”
Elliot was concerned that the controversial issues from America around police were being imported into Australian society.
“What’s going on in America is not our war,” he told Nine news. “We’re Australians.”
NSW Police Minister David Elliott has SLAMMED political posters made by primary school students, calling them an attack on police by “left-wing ideologues” who want to “skew what Australia stands for”.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) April 20, 2021
Elliot said Australian society had a different and higher level of respect for their men and women in blue. He emphasised that the Australian police force was independent and apolitical, with civilian oversight involved in misconduct processes.
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell ordered a full review into the school and said politics had no place in the classroom.
“These posters should not be displayed in a classroom. Any teacher found to be politicising a classroom will face disciplinary action,” Mitchell said.
One Nation minister Mark Latham backed Elliot’s calls for the teacher to be fired and added that the principal should also be dismissed.
“This is completely unacceptable for a student to be saying ‘White lives matter too much,’” he told the Daily Telegraph. “For the teacher to display it in the classroom is appalling.”
“It is not education it is indoctrination, they’re polluting the minds of little kids,” Latham said. “It is not humanity, it is not compassion, it is a warped mutant ideology shoved down the throats of little kids.”
According to the school website, Lindfield Learning Village was opened in 2019 as an alternative school and is “based on empathy and trust.” It does not require students to wear school uniforms, does not use bells, and work is self-assessed by students.
The NSW Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) president Jason Wong said the school’s unconventional teaching style was met with overwhelming support by the parents.
“I thought it was a bit ironic that the word ‘brainwashing’ was used,” Wong told Sydney Morning Herald. “Because what I’ve seen in my children is they’re being encouraged to think about things.”
In a letter to parents on Wednesday, principal Stephanie McConnell apologised for the offence caused and said the teacher had not taught the slogans to students.
“Students were asked to write down all the issues they have heard from the mainstream news, other information sources or commentary [concerning Aboriginal history],” McConnell wrote. “I am sorry for the offence this poster has caused people.”
“We will be working with the Department to make sure something like this does not happen again.”