Quarterly Essay 67 Moral Panic 101: Equality, Acceptance, and The Safe Schools Scandal QE67
Are Australian schools safe? And if they're not, what happens when kids are caught in a bleak collision between ill-equipped school staff and a confected media scandal? In 2016 the Safe Schools program became the centre of an ideological firestorm. In QE67 Benjamin Law explores how and why this happened. He weaves a subtle, gripping account of schools today, sexuality, teenagers, new ideas of gender fluidity, tabloid media scares and mental health. Looking at the perils for those of uncertain or shamed sexual identity, and bullying of the vulnerable young, he brings to light hidden worlds, in an essay notable for its humane clarity.
Benjamin Law is the author of The Family Law and Gaysia, and a columnist for Good Weekend. He co-wrote the TV adaptation of two series of The Family Law.