Target: Minister for Education in Australia Martin Francis Dixon
Goal: Allow female best friends Kiana and Imogene to attend the debutante ball
A public school in Australia is stirring up controversy by barring two female best friends from attending their debutante ball together, despite the school’s claim to be anti-homophobic. The decision has sparked outrage from one of the girls’ fathers, and both are seeking a resolution that will allow both girls to attend the ball together.
Victorian public school Mount Clear College is a part of the Safe School Coalition, which is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for same-sex attracted, intersex, or gender diverse students. However, despite being a part of this coalition, the school is standing firm to its decision, stating it was based off of “tradition.” What is upsetting is that it’s the school council – made up of students, the principal, staff, and members of the public – who came to this decision and this has made the public question whether this school really cares about creating an inclusive environment. Justin Prewett, father of Kiana, states, “What difference does it make to the parents and the teachers? It should be up to the students. If it’s their formal, the decision should lie with them.”
Kiana and Imogene are not partners, but Prewett is upset because of the principle of the issue. According to him, students should be able to feel comfortable with who they are. Kiana even spoke to the Minister of Education herself, but despite being reassured by his office that everything was taken care of, a recent chat with the school’s principal has Kiana feeling doubtful. If this issue isn’t resolved then it will be taken to the Human Rights Commission.
By barring two best friends from attending their ball, Mount Clear College is discriminating against these girls. As part of the Safe School Coalition, they should be able to disregard tradition and allow these students to attend the dance together. If you believe these girls have a right to be included at a school function, please sign this petition.
Dear Martin Francis Dixon,
Recently you told student Kiana from Mount Clear College that the issue regarding her debutante dance has been resolved. Unfortunately, she has a lot of doubt that the problem has been rectified. After a chat with her principal, she doesn’t believe that she and her friend Imogene will be attending this ball.
I ask that you reassure this girl about the issue and ensure that both of the girls are able to attend. It saddens me that a school who participates in the Safe School Coalition is preventing two friends from attending the ball together. Whether or not these two are partners shouldn’t be considered. It is a dance, and it is an event meant to be fun for the students. Please ensure that both girls are able to enjoy the function to its fullest extent.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: 1wikideb1 via Wikimedia Commons