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Here's Why Malcolm Turnbull Was Asked About A 17-Year-Old Bisexual Schoolgirl

Leave Megan out of this.

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Radio shock jock Alan Jones had a big old go at prime minister Malcolm Turnbull this morning over content he claimed was in the LGBTI anti-bullying program, Safe Schools Coalition.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

"Children in years 9 and 10, that's 15-year-old girls, get to play characters of Megan and Grace and Kelly," said Jones.

"[Students] have to role play these characters and Megan lives in the city, works in a local cafe, she's had 15 sexual partners and describes herself as bisexual, she rarely practices safe sex, she's often drunk."

Jones then asked Turnbull whether he would be happy for his daughter to role-play as Megan.

"You're a grandfather, you've got kids going into schools, do you want a 15-year-old daughter embracing this stuff as education?"

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As you can see above, it's actually part of the Victorian government's "Building Respectful Relationships" anti-family violence program, in a module aimed at Year 9 students.

The Safe Schools Coalition is not connected to it at all.

But neither Turnbull nor education minister Simon Birmingham knew that – accepting the premise of Jones' question, and distancing themselves from the program.

"I am not familiar with this particular program," Turnbull said. "All I can say is that with the Safe Schools program that the Labor party introduced when they were in government, what we have done is made some changes, this was done on the basis of independent advice, the education minister Simon Birmingham did this."

"My understanding is the particular activity that Alan Jones was referring to is one of the activities that our independent reviewer, Professor Bill Louden from the University of WA, found to not be necessarily age appropriate or suitable for all children and it's one of those activities that we have removed from the program."

It's not the first time that people who oppose Safe Schools have used extreme case studies that aren't even in the program to attack it.

Supplied

Senator Cory Bernardi told a mother who emailed him about the program that it contains links to "bondage clubs and adult sex toys", which is not true.

Ironically, his missive began by telling the mother she "clearly [hasn't] got any idea" what is in the program.

Many politicians and conservative media figures keep reporting that the age of kids being taught the program is 11 ... but the All Of Us teaching guide is aimed at Year 7 and 8 students, and the vast majority who access the program will be 13 or 14.

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George Christensen stood up in parliament on February 25 this year to deliver a speech about Safe Schools. He used words like "pornography", "sadomasochism" and "sex toys" – none of which appear in the curriculum.

After extensively listing adult websites that are (again) not part of the Safe Schools Coalition, Christensen used them to argue against the program anyway, describing it as "grooming work" that a "sexual predator" would undertake.

"If parents knew their children were being exposed to this type of material, they would probably not let them go to school," he said.

"If someone proposed exposing a child to this material, the parents would probably call the police because it sounds a lot like the grooming work that a sexual predator might undertake."

So while Megan's story – that of a 17-year-old bisexual schoolgirl who works at a cafe and has had 15 sexual partners – might scare and confuse parents, don't worry, because it's not even in the Safe Schools curriculum.

With additional reporting from Alice Workman.

Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at lane.sainty@buzzfeed.com.

Mark Di Stefano is a Media and Politics Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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