Open Letter to the Headmaster of Penrith Christian School


I am writing to you today in reaction to your words to the media following the visit from Tony Abbott yesterday, and also in reaction to learning about the morals, or lack thereof, that you and your institution promote.

Your schools statement of faith reads that “homosexuality and specific acts of homosexuality are an abomination unto God, a perversion of the natural order and not to be entered into”.

The fact is that a statement like that does nothing but sicken me to my core. To know that a statement like that is being promoted at an educational institution for young people is simply beyond belief.

You were directly questioned about this statement by the media, and you replied that you were “not considering renewing” the passage in question.

To be honest, Mr Neville, I couldn’t care less what you believe in. I don’t care if you think that I am an abomination and that there may be a special place reserved amongst fire and brimstone for me simply because of who I love. No, Mr Neville, what truly makes me question you and your schools integrity and morals is that you are putting these outdated, homophobic and hate-filled claims onto the students to whom you are headmaster.

Schools are a safe place for youths to enter into the world, learn from the best and grow into the people they are born to be. But your school is not providing this. You are failing you 720-odd students. You may help them achieve academic success, but you are also breeding hatred and intolerance. Of your 720 students right now, statistics say that over 50 are going to identify as part of the LGBT community. These students, sitting at your desks right now believe, from your teachings that they are doing something wrong, think that they are bad people, and think that they will not be accepted in their own school for being who they are.

This, Mr Neville, is what really makes me both sick and saddened.

In 2014, I am beginning a teaching degree. I have decided to shift my life toward this profession because I have seen that teachers have – through my own experiences – the ability to breed confidence, guide and be an integral part of their students’ growth as a human. I just hope that by the time I am qualified, institutions like yours have taken a long hard look at themselves and I can happily work at any school without first feeling that someone of my sexuality would be exiled, and secondly without feeling that any student, under my, or any other teachers care, feels excluded from their school as a result of their sexuality.

What your school stands for, and what it is doing as a result to students – yours or anywhere – that are gay or questioning is immoral and can be damaging beyond repair.

The damage you do today will stay with your students, and youths worldwide, for the rest of their lives. Have a look at what your school is promoting before something happens that cannot be taken back.

I hope your Lord is proud of what you are promoting. Mine certainly isn’t.

Michael Winn

NB: I intend on publishing this letter and, out of respect, i expect a reply from your desk explaining your reasons for promoting homophobic through your statement of faith, and the benefits you expect it to have on your students. If you ever have a change of heart, you can remove the passage from your statement of faith. You can leave a positive and influential mark on your school and your life.