Citipointe College regrets asking parents to sign a contract

Citipointe Christian College

After being overly prescriptive in a parent contract, Brisbane’s Citipointe Christian College has issued a statement following a settlement with parents who took the school to the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC).

The school asked parents with little notice to sign a contract that stated their child identified with their natal gender. “The College believes that by creating each person, God in his divine love and wisdom gifted them their gender, as male or female. The College therefore acknowledges the biological sex of a person recognised at birth and requires practices consistent with that sex.”

“I/we agree that where distinctions are made between male and female (inclusive of, but not limited to, for example, uniforms, presentation, terminology, use of facilities and amenities, participation in sporting events and accommodation) such distinctions will be applied on the basis of the individual’s biological sex.”

Parents also had to agree that “any form of sexual immorality (including but not limited to; adultery, fornication, homosexual acts, bisexual acts, bestiality, incest, paedophilia, and pornography) is sinful and offensive to God and is destructive to human relationships and society.”

After the settlement at QHRC the school issued a new statement containing an apology.

Here it is in full:

Expression of regret: January 2022 Amended Enrolment Contract

“On 28 January 2022, Christian Outreach Centre, trading as Citipointe Christian College, sent a proposed new Enrolment Contract to parents and guardians of children of the College. The Enrolment Contract was sent by the then Principal, Pastor Brian Mulheran.

“The Enrolment Contract contained statements on gender and sexuality which were drawn from the Christian Outreach Centre’s Declaration of Faith. However, the Christian Outreach Centre and the College acknowledge, on reflection, that those statements were distressing to members and allies of the LGBTIQA+ community.

“On 3 February 2022, after further consideration and feedback from the community, theEnrolment Contract was withdrawn by the College. On 31 March 2022, Pastor Mulheran resigned as Principal of the College.

“Subsequently, a small group of parents took action under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qid).

“The complaints have been resolved by agreement after settlement discussions.

“This agreement shows the College’s commitment to anti-discrimination and its support of inclusion. The College’s ethos supports inclusion and understanding people of different faiths and beliefs. The College acknowledges it has an important role in educating its staff and students in the importance of being inclusive. The College is committed to the continued education of its staff and students on how to be respectful and to value all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation or gender identity.

“While the College has anti-discrimination policies and training in place, it is committed to continually reviewing and, if necessary, strengthening those policies and training.

“It is acknowledged that the issuance of the Enrolment Contract, coupled with a request for the prompt execution and return, caused distress and concern to some students and parents. We regret any distress or concern which was caused to students, parents and guardians of students or prospective students of the College, which includes those within the College community that are members of the LGBTIQA+ community, and their families and their allies, as a result of the issuance of the Enrolment Contract in January of 2022.

Christian Outreach Centre and the College recognises that all persons have a right to be treated with respect and all students deserve to feel safe and respected. This is consistent with our fundamental belief that all people are made in the image of God. Christian Outreach Centre has also facilitated a donation to a charity which provides assistance and training with respect to youth mental health issues, including with respect to diversity and inclusion.

“We will move forward in encouraging our students to achieve their personal best and to contribute to the common good.”

The gap between the two staemnets

The school’s statemnet addresses respect for “all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation or gender identity.” The apology centres on the distress caused by the abrupt “issuance” of the new parental contract which was promply withdrawn,

But the school’s statement does not address what the school will teach. Citipointe remains part of Citipointe church, a member of a Pentecostal denomination, the International Network of Churches. Thev Statemnet makes it cklear that the School is part of the same corporate body as the church.

There is a wide gap between what the oroiginal parental contract asked for and the school’s latest statement. The school is still auspiced by a conservative church, and while it has now said that all students will be afforded respect and treated as people of value, how the school will manifest the church’s other beliefs has not been made clear.