Mother blasts Queensland education ad as ‘racist’ for labelling Indigenous boys ‘trouble makers'(2)
8/9/17; Yahoo7 News
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A mother has slammed a Queensland Government ad as “racist” for picturing young Indigenous boys with a white teacher alongside the caption “I have a soft spot for the trouble maker”. Dr Chelsea Bond, a lecturer in Indigenous Studies at the University of Queensland, said she only found out one of her boys, 11, was featured in the ad after she saw it on the Teach Queensland Facebook page.
The caption on the ad reads: “I have a soft spot for the trouble maker or the kid that everyone thought wouldn’t make it”.
Dr Bond hit out at the ad, posting on Twitter: “[My son] is not a troublemaker and has the biggest mob who knows he is going to make it.” “Aboriginal children don’t need saving by white women. They are not your Jedda and nor are they your prop.” “He is not a troublemaker. He is pretty smart – he gets that from his mother.”
Dr Bond said the issue wasn’t confined to Education Queensland, and it “just provided an example of the stuff we deal with every-day in this country”. She said her son’s first response to viewing the image was shock, and he asked “Do they think I’m a trouble maker?”
Dr Peter Anderson, an education lecturer at Monash University, labelled the image “educational apartheid” and said it alluded to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders students being troublemakers.
Teach Queensland issued an apology on Facebook. Teach Queensland has removed the post and apologised for any offence caused. A spokesperson for the Queensland Department of Education and Training said whoever posted the image would be offered training. “The department is committed to supporting the education of every student in every state school across Queensland,” the spokesperson said. “The department is contacting families of students in the image and responding to members of the public who raised concerns.
“The officers concerned have been counselled and required to undertake cultural awareness training.” But despite having the post removed and being offered a personal apology, Dr Bond told the ABC she wanted the government to do more to try and tackle racist stereotyping. We’re imagined in a way that doesn’t reflect who we are and the only way we can be better is to be more like white people, or be saved by white people,” she said.
The Queensland Education Minister has been contacted for comment.