Children as young as 10 are being made to write letters in school apologising to Indigenous Australians for ‘taking their land’, pictures reveal.
The images taken by a parent were sent to One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson, who posted them online on Thursday evening.
The letters, written by primary school children, were put together on pieces of paper shaped in the form of a megaphone with words referencing the nation’s colonial past.
‘We are sorry for everything that we have done,’ one letter reads.
Another said: ‘We are sorry to Aboriginals. We took your land and we have now we feel sad of what we have done.’
‘Aboriginal people should have many more rights and should be treated nicely they should be also be a aboriginal voice to parliament [sic]’.
Children as young as 10 are being made to write letter artworks in school apologising to Indigenous Australians for ‘taking their land’, extraordinary pictures reveal
Senator Hanson said teachers should ‘hang their heads in shame’ for psychologically burdening children with historical guilt.
‘Under no circumstances should innocent children bear the guilt of historical events, especially events that occurred long before they were even conceived. ‘This is not education; it’s emotional manipulation,’ she argued.
‘What legacy are we leaving for future generations if we instil in them a sense of guilt and shame for things they had no part in?
‘Rather than moving toward unity and social harmony, we are planting seeds for further discord and division.’
It comes after a mother on Thursday revealed how her daughter was told by teachers at her school to ‘go home and influence your parents to vote Yes’ for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
Senator Hanson said teacher’s should ‘hang their heads in shame’ for psychologically burdening children with historical guilt
The Australian mum named Julie told 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Thursday that another of her daughters – she has two in a Catholic high school – was also upset that she had a political agenda pushed on her while she was at school trying to learn.
‘I’ve got two children; one in middle high school, the other in senior. They are two strong young women, and I’m very proud of them,’ Julie said.
Julie said while the directive to speak about the Voice would have been ‘from the top down’ and she did not blame teachers, she felt insulted her children were being used as a campaigning tool.
‘My daughter at senior level had a retreat day where two prominent staff members spoke to them about the Voice for about 10 or 15 minutes,’ she said.
‘They were talking about the misinformation on social media and with the No campaign and how it’s really important we say Yes.
‘They said go home and influence your parents and older siblings who can vote to vote Yes.’
Julie said she was brought up to respect teachers, and so are her children, but added: ‘We don’t need to be told how to think, thank you very much.’
‘I have to advocate for my kids.
‘This is a good opportunity to actually teach kids about Aboriginal history and about our Constitution, we aren’t taught anything about that.’
Julie also said her other daughter had a retreat day and was subjected to Voice campaigning.
‘The retreat days are generally about healthy spirituality and topics like that, which is fantastic.
‘They gave them a bit of a spiel about voting yes, and I asked my daughter how she’d like me to tackle that because she felt uncomfortable.
‘They had a feedback survey about the day, so she expressed her own view in the email to them, saying that she didn’t like having political agendas put on her.’
It seems Julie isn’t alone with other parents calling into the radio show.
Fellow mum Jane said her 17-year-old son, who is at an independent Catholic school, told her that on the PA system this week they had a reflection prayer, including a part about voting Yes on the Voice.
‘He went with his friends and approached the deputy principal about why schools are getting involved with politics,’ she explained.
Earlier this year, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference issued a statement saying they support the Voice as ‘a step towards a more just and equitable Australia.’
A third mum, Marie, then called in to say Liberal MP Julian Leeser, a Yes proponent, was speaking to her child’s independent Catholic school this week, but they have no one coming in to explain the No side.
Prim Minister Anthony Albanese announced the referendum for Indigenous Voice to Parliament will be held on October 14
‘They want ex-students, parents, teachers and staff to come along to hear why they should vote Yes.’
‘It was also in the newsletter a few weeks ago, too, about why we as parents should support this.’
Fordham said parents send their children to school for a ‘well-rounded education’ and not to hear just one side of a debate.
‘The PM is pushing hard for the Yes campaign, but do we need this in schools?’
‘Are they going to be doing this at the next state election, the next federal election, telling people how to vote?’
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced the date for the referendum, to be held on October 14, that will ask Australians to enshrine an Indigenous advisory body to Parliament.
For the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum to succeed, it needs a double majority, meaning the majority of Australians and the majority of states need to vote Yes, which polling shows is becoming an increasingly tough sell for Labor.