Laurelle Mellet with son Troye Sivan. Photo: Change.org
Laurelle Mellet, the mum of Aussie singer and 'Wild' chart-topper Troye Sivan, has launched a petition calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to renew funding for Safe Schools and make the program compulsory in all Australian schools.
In the Change.org petition directed at Turnbull and Education Minister Simon Birmingham, Mellet criticised the government for defunding a program designed to protect LGBTI youth against harassment and bullying.
"My son Troye Sivan told us he was gay at 14. It made me nervous - I'd heard horrific stories of homophobic bullying and kids being suicidal at school. What's worse is our education system won't fight it - Malcolm Turnbull hasn't renewed Safe Schools funding," Mellet wrote in the petition.
Safe Schools, launched by the Libs in 2014, was the subject of much mistruth from conservative media and the government's religious right earlier this year. In the wake of the criticism, the program was gutted following a "review", with Birmingham announcing in March that it wouldn't be funded after 2017.
"Troye was terrified but needn't have been - his coming out video went viral and we couldn't be prouder of him. But Troye was lucky. Thousands of gay teens battle aggressive intimidation, exclusion and even attempts of suicide," Mellet added in the petition.
"To exclude anti-LGBTQI bullying programs from schools is beyond cruel. I'd like to think all parents would fight for a system that makes their child feel safe, not worthless."
Since going live overnight, the petition has secured over 3,600 signatures and counting.
You can add your support to the petition here.