Senator Hanson needs to go back to school

Media Release

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations today condemned comments by Senator Pauline Hanson who suggested that children with disability should be removed from mainstream schools.

Senator Hanson told the Senate this morning that children with disability did not belong in mainstream classrooms because they were disruptive and, as a result, teachers spent too much time with them at the expense of other students.

Senator Hanson suggested that students with disability should instead be segregated in “special classrooms”. 

The CEO of AFDO, Mr Ross Joyce, said Ms Hanson’s comments were outdated, offensive and discriminatory.

“Ms Hanson’s views are out of touch with the rest of the Australian community and fly in the face of good educational practice. Most importantly they are also discriminatory – the rights of children with disability to education are protected by Australian law,” Mr Joyce said. 

“We respectfully suggest Senator Hanson might like to go back to school and hit the books. If she did she would find that there is a large body of evidence which demonstrates that kids with disability and kids without both benefit from going to school together.

“Research consistently demonstrates that educational outcomes are better for both kids with disability and those without disability when they are included together in the classroom.

“Rather than calling for further segregation, Senator Hanson should focus on making sure schools and teachers have the resources and support they need to give children with disability the best start in life they can. 

“Children with disability have the right to a good education and the same opportunities as every other Australian child.”
For more information please contact Mr Ross Joyce on 0402 842 040


Who is AFDO?

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) is the peak organisation in the disability sector representing people with disability. AFDO and its member organisations are run by and for people with disability. AFDO is the place for organisations that represent people with disability to work together to achieve common goals.
AFDO’s mission is to champion the rights of people with disability in Australia and support them to participate fully in Australian life.
AFDO’s members include:

  • Blind Citizens Australia
  • Brain Injury Australia
  • Deaf Australia
  • Deafblind Australia
  • Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia
  • Down Syndrome Australia
  • Physical Disability Australia
  • Disability Advocacy Network Australia
  • Disability Justice Advocacy
  • Disability Resources Centre
  • People with Disabilities ACT
  • Enhanced Lifestyles
  • Deafness Forum of Australia
  • People with Disabilities WA