We Spoke To The Awesome Kids At Burwood Girls High; They’re Screening ‘Gayby Baby’ At School Anyway

That awkward moment when a bunch of 15-year-olds show more leadership than the Premier of NSW ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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If NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli thought he’d avoided a potentially bad day by appeasing the Daily Telegraph and banning LGBTI doco Gayby Baby from being screened in school classes on Wednesday morning, he done goofed. The issue’s dominated media coverage since, with people lining up to give the NSW government a serve for giving in to the Tele‘s nonsense “outrage” campaign.

The paper and others, like Presbyterian Minister Mark Powell, have defended their stance against the movie largely by invoking the time-honoured Think Of The Children argument, painting a picture of innocent youth vulnerable to “brainwash[ing] by propaganda”.

In response to that perception, the supposed victims of that  “propaganda” — the students of Burwood Girls High School, whose plans to screen the film led to this whole hubbub in the first place — had a fw pretty interesting things to say. In a post on Facebook yesterday, the school Prefects who run the Students of Burwood Girls Facebook page expressed “disappointment at the media coverage” around the screening and emphasised their commitment to inclusion and LGBTI rights.

“As Burwood girls, we pride ourselves on our support of diversity – in whatever form it takes … We consider ourselves leaders in the push for equality and acceptance – for all people,” the SBG Prefects wrote.

“We are a proud school. We are proud of our culture. And we are proud of the leadership our school shows in supporting all views and the right for all people to be accepted.”


The post has gone ridiculously viral; in less than a day it’s been shared more than 2,600 times, been Liked by over 11,000 people and inspired standalone news reports. Politicians with skin in the game, like local state MP Jodi McKay and Labor Legislative Councillor Penny Sharpe, who is in a same-sex family, have also expressed their admiration.

We spoke to the students behind the page, asking them their opinions of the whole mess and what their likely response is. Turns out while they can no longer screen Gayby Baby during school hours, they’re already planning an after-school viewing session for Burwood Girls students keen on watching the film that’s kicked up so much fuss in the first place.

JUNKEE: Your statement has gotten a pretty huge response. What’s the feedback been like?

We’re overwhelmed with the level of support we’ve received from our school and the broader community. While the majority has been positive, there has also been negative backlash, which only highlights to us as young adults how important our cause is.

J: The co-founder of Wear It Purple is a former BGHS girl. Does the school have a history of celebrating Wear It Purple Day or LGBTI inclusion in schools more generally?

Wear It Purple was partially initiated by Katherine Hudson, a former Burwood Girls Student, in 2010. It began in our school and we’ve been celebrating it annually ever since. However, we have always been strong supporters of the LGBTIQ+ community at our school. We pride ourselves on being a Proud School, inclusive and accepting of ALL students regardless of their sexual preference, religious faith, culture or ethnicity.

J: The Daily Telegraph’s editorial yesterday argued that screening Gayby Baby wasn’t fair to children of “an orthodox Christian or Muslim background”. Have any students with religious backgrounds expressed objections to the film?

While the prefects are a voice for the students of Burwood Girls who represent a diverse range of cultures, religious faiths and views, and have personally not expressed any concern with the film, it would be wrong for us to generalise every student’s response. While we understand that people’s views are often formed by religion, personally we do not see this as a religious issue but an issue of human rights and equality.

J: Now that BGHS is banned from screening Gayby Baby during school hours, are their plans to have a viewing at some other time or place?

Definitely. The ban of the 20+ schools across the State who were intending on airing Gayby Baby during school hours has not stopped students and staff from wishing to view the film. We at Burwood Girls are planning to hold a viewing after school hours in the near future for students who wish to view the film, as are several other schools in the state.

J: If SBG could speak with either the Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, or the editorial team of the Daily Telegraph, what would you tell them?

We would tell them what we have openly expressed to both the media and the general public. While we personally are disgruntled that the film will not be shown during school hours, this has not dampened our celebrations for Wear It Purple on Friday. If anything, it has made the student body and general public more interested in viewing the film.

Between Burwood Girls High and the famous Year Nine class from the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts who grilled Tony Abbott that one time, high school kids are giving some of Australia’s most powerful politicians a pretty solid lesson in Leadership 101.