'Let Kids Be Kids': Scott Morrison Slammed For 'Gender Whisperers' Tweet
Parents with children who have identified as transgender were quick to take on the PM.
Scott Morrison has come under fire with a tweet declaring Australian schools don't need "gender whisperers".
The comment came in response to a report which claimed NSW teachers were being taught how to identify potential transgender children in classrooms, Morrison insisted we "let kids be kids."
"We do not need 'gender whisperers in our schools. Let kids be kids," he Tweeted, along with a link to The Daily Telegraph report which claimed the initiative had contributed to a "200 percent surge in the number of kids wanting to change their gender in the past three years."
Gender specialist and counsellor Dr Elizabeth Riley, who was quoted in the article, was a noteable voice among the choir of commentators who took issue with the PM's take.
“Let kids be kids? That’s exactly what we are doing… and a lot of that is letting children be themselves,” she told SBS News on Wednesday.
Dr. Riley also said she only work with NSW schools after a child had identified as transgender and was not employed by the Department of Education, as was claimed in the report.
While some shared his perspective, criticism of the PM's comment rolled in hard and fast across social media.
LGBTIQ activist and executive director of Change.org Sally Rugg responded to the comment by pointing out "one in two transgender kids who aren't supported by their schools and families attempt suicide," while Australian radio host Dominic Knight questioned whether Morrison was only the Prime Minister for cisgender children.
Parents with children who have identified as transgender were also quick to take on the PM.
Lisa Newey said her child "doesn't feel safe to be out at school."
Greens Senator Janet Rice also took aim at Morrison, claiming it's obvious the new PM "doesn't give a rats about young LGBTIQ people."
"Scott Morrison's barely settled into the job, yet he's made every effort to demonise young LGBTIQ people. He has done so much damage in such a short time," Rice said in a statement.
"Well I've got news for the Prime Minister -- some kids are trans. Some kids are gay, lesbian, bisexual. Some kids are questioning their gender or sexuality. And they need to be supported by their families, communities, schools and their representatives in parliament."
Meanwhile, Shadow Minister for young people Terri Butler took issue with Morrison's comment in a Twitter thread of her own, insisting the PM "be a little more prime ministerial and a little less oblivious and rude."
Concerns regarding Morrison's position as prime minister from the LGBTIQ community have been evident from the moment of his appointment, as few have forgotten his 'no' stance during the same-sex marriage plebiscite.
The fresh backlash comes only days after Morrison insisted gay conversion therapy was not an issue he as Prime Minister would engage with, and agreed with shock jock radio broadcaster Alan Jones than a program in Victorian schools containing material about teen sexuality made his "skin curl."