‘Trump sux’ school display ‘disgusting’, parents say
A "partisan" political lesson where children's abusive messages and artworks against US president Donald Trump were put on display at a Sydney inner-city primary school has sparked criticism by upset parents and Upper House MP Mark Latham.
The young children - some as young as five - attending the North Newtown Public School's after school care were asked who they would vote for in the US presidential election and why, with their drawings and comments put on display at a parental sign-out desk.
The primary school children scrawled illiterate answers, such as "I hate Trump, he suks", "honestally anyone is better than dunnel Trump!" and misspelled climate "climet" in a reference to ecowarrior Greta Thunberg.
Under the education department's "Controversial Issues in Schools" policy - which also applies to contractors, volunteers and external providers - schools are meant to be neutral, parents should be told in advance about any teaching of controversial issues and lessons should not "advance the interest of any particular group".
Mr Latham, who has raised the issue in the NSW parliament with questions to Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, said "it's pretty sick to be imposing your own political views on little kids".
One irate parent told The Daily Telegraph the level of "vitriol" in the display against Trump, set up last month, "was confronting to look at".
"I couldn't believe it, they didn't do any sort of display for the Australian election, these are five to 12 year old kids being exposed to this pile-on against Trump," he said.
"Let kids be kids after school, don't fill their heads with political propaganda.
"It was disgusting, if you used that sort of language about in the classroom you would be in trouble but it's fine to put it on display against Trump."
Mr Latham said the lesson was a breach of the Controversial Issues in Schools policy "because schools are supposed to be neutral places".
"To raise these sorts of issues with little kids - the parents at a minimum should be consulted," he said.
"The kids are struggling to spell, let alone sort out the complexity of American politics, this is just abuse.
"The kids are being encouraged to be woke and they are proud of the outcome - the lesson should have been in literacy."
The Department of Education is not an approved provider of the before and after care at North Newtown, but Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said "after school care should be a place where students can play and study without interference".
"Children of this age don't understand the political nature of what they are being asked, these discussions are best reserved for home and certainly not appropriate to be on display at the front of the service," she said.
"Educators at these services are often not qualified schoolteachers and are there to supervise children rather than teach lessons."
Originally published as 'Trump sux' school display 'disgusting': parents