Hundreds of teachers at 30 Victorian schools will wear T-shirts promoting the closure of offshore detention camps as of Monday as part of a pro-refugee movement.
Up to 500 educators with Teachers for Refugees will wear shirts emblazoned with ‘Close the Camps, Bring them Here’ in order to open up discussions with students about refugees, such as those being held in Nauru Detention Centre.
The group is being backed by the education union, but Opposition state education spokesman Nick Wakeling told the Herald Sun teachers and their schools should be focusing on raising education standards.
‘The classroom isn’t a soapbox for activist teachers to force their political views on our children,’ he said.
The Teachers for Refugees group said they are trying to fight against the ‘poisonous racism’ from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
‘Some of us have taught refugees in offshore camps, or here in the community, and we know that they are denied basic human rights,’ said Melbourne organiser Lucy Honan.
‘We know there are both teachers and students on Nauru and Manus who should be in our schools, not in prison camps.’
Hume Central Secondary College, St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre, Williamstown High, St Albans Secondary College are just some of the schools involved in the group’s movement.
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