T4R MEDIA RELEASE 7/11 | Teachers for Refugees calls on principals to defy department over Walk Off 

Teachers for Refugees is calling on Victorian school principals to defy Department of Education and Training instructions issued today not to authorise absences for the Walk Off for refugee #KidsOffAllOff set for November 20th.
“The tide of action to close the camps will not be silenced by departmental circulars. Principals must stick to human rights principles and back teachers who are prepared to take action,” said Lucy Honan from Teachers for Refugees.
“Teachers left work with authorisation to attend the Change the Rules rally in May and October, and rightly so. As unionists and educators we have the right and responsibility to speak up against injustice. The minister and the department has decided that the rights of children and adults in offshore prisons are too challenging. They should be ashamed to call themselves education leaders, and there will be many principals who will know better than to accept their advice.”

“Teachers in Victoria operate under a law requiring us to promote and protect human rights, and take human rights into account when making decisions or taking action in our day-to-day work. HR executive Tony Bugden and Minister for Education James Merlino may want to ignore the Victorian Charter of Human Right. But we will not, and we call on principals, who know as well as we do about the atrocities in offshore detention, to show leadership in this moment.”

“The United Nations, and every human rights organisation in the country has condemned the human rights abuses in offshore detention, and called for Australia to close the camps. The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch Council unanimously supported the Walk Off for the 20th of November.”

Teachers for Refugees spokesperson Lucy Honan: 0404728104