500 signatures reached
To: Malcolm Turnbull, Simon Birmingham, Peter Dutton
Stand up for teachers who stand up for refugees
End all attempts to intimidate teachers from being involved in the Teachers for Refugees t-shirt action. Teachers have a right to state their opposition to offshore detention policies and government abuses of human rights. They are sending a message of solidarity to refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention centres and those in our schools and communities, who face racism and discrimination.
Why is this important?
We support Teachers for Refugees!
Teachers for Refugees (T4R) needs our support.
T4R seeks to raise awareness about the cruel and inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, including hundreds of school-age children, in Australian-run detention centres. To this end, members and supporters of T4R will be wearing pro-refugee t-shirts to school next week and will hold a vigil on Monday after class from 6pm at City Square.
For encouraging teachers to publicly show opposition to the systematic abuse of asylum seekers in detention centres, the group has been subjected to a campaign of vilification by the Murdoch press. The Liberal government, from the Prime Minister to the Federal Immigration and Education ministers, have now turned their fire on T4R, urging Principles to discipline or even sack teachers for wearing the t-shirts.
This is both an attack on freedom of political expression, and an attempt to intimidate and silence the voices of refugee supporters. Shamefully the government has long restricted the right to free speech with regard to its treatment of asylum seekers. This includes criminalising teachers of asylum seekers who speak out against cases of abuse in detention, via the Border Force Act.
The Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union is in support of Teachers for Refugees, with Branch President Meredeth Peace publicly backing the t-shirt action. Strong support has also been forthcoming from refugee advocacy groups. It is crucial that we all voice our support now to give courage to teachers to take a stand and to send a message to Principles and the Federal government that their campaign of bullying and threats will be resisted.
We the undersigned give complete support to Teachers for Refugees in their campaign to support asylum seekers and recognise their right to express themselves freely.