Tele: Lindfield Learning Village displays anti-police, BLM posters made by students

Teachers are on warning that political activism in the classroom is not acceptable after anti-police posters were found in a North Shore classroom.

A furious Education Minister warned teachers political activism has no place in classrooms after a Sydney primary school displayed student-made posters emblazoned with the words “Stop killer cops” and “Pigs out of the country”.

One placard, created by students in Years 5 and 6 at Lindfield Learning Village and displayed in the classroom, said “White lives matter too much” and “Change climate change”. Another Black Lives Matter poster said: “You can’t silence the speechLess”.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell on Tuesday ordered a full review into how the placards came to be displayed at the recently opened public school.

“These posters should not be displayed in a classroom. Any teacher found to be politicising a classroom will face disciplinary action,” Ms Mitchell said. “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.”

The demonisation of the men and women in blue at the school also prompted a fierce backlash by Police Minister David Elliott.

He said children were being brainwashed with anti-police propaganda by taxpayer-funded teachers and he would be seeking an apology from Ms Mitchell.

“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,” he said.

“At a time when we’re encouraging children to have faith in police to trust them enough to bring forward concerns about sexual assault and consent and illegal drug activity, to have any learning establishment promote this sort of approach to law enforcement, runs the risk of children losing faith in the justice system.

“I will be writing to the Education Minister and the Education Secretary seeking a formal apology on behalf of the 17,000 police officers in NSW.

“As a parent I am embarrassed, as a parliamentarian I am infuriated and as a taxpayer I am disgusted that this is the level that public education is at.”

Lindfield Learning Village was billed as an alternative school when it was opened on the upper north shore by the Department of Education in 2019.

It promised an “innovative educational model” with collaborative and project based learning. The students do not wear uniforms and there are no bells.

According to 2020 MySchool data, there are 365 students enrolled at the school, 1 per cent of whom identified as Indigenous while 70 per cent of students came from the top income quartile of society.

NSW Upper House MP Mark Latham described it as “completely unacceptable”.

“This is completely unacceptable for a student to be saying ‘White lives matter too much’ and for the teacher to display it in the classroom is appalling. The teacher should be sacked and so should the principal,” he said.

“It is not education it is indoctrination, they’re polluting the minds of little kids. It is not humanity, it is not compassion, it is a warped mutant ideology shoved down the throats of little kids.”

NSW Parents Council president Rose Cantali said the Black Lives Matter movement should be discussed with older year levels because ­primary school-aged children were too young to understand the com­plexity of it.

“The teacher shouldn’t be doing that, it is not a good strategy, they’re too young,” she said.

“Their perception is going to be very distorted, they’re going to be ­easily influenced, they’re not able to make a critical judgment.

“A lot of kids are influenced by what is going on YouTube, so it is more of the negative depiction, which is giving a really distorted view of what police are really like.”

Australian Catholic University’s Kevin Donnelly also said young students did not have the critical awareness to think rationally about the topic.

“Education should be about being objective and balanced, not about ­cancel culture and abusing the police,” he said. “As someone who taught for 18 years, it is appalling that students are being indoctrinated with cultural left propaganda.”

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