A primary school is under fire for a play that left parents horrified after it featured some students dressed as nuns to abuse “Aboriginal” children.

A story sparking major discussion today is about a Northern Beaches primary school, Forestville Public School, that staged the “Australia You’re Standing In It” ­concerts, which featured younger students wearing “sorry” placards, reports Daily Telegraph.

The school praised the play in its newsletter, saying: “We were pleased to see that at last the truth is being taught about Australia’s ‘discovery’ by Captain Cook as well as the ‘truth’ about our treatment of the stolen generation”.

Reports say the concert’s scenes ­included sections featuring grade 6 students dressed up as nuns “pretending to mentally and physically abuse the children playing the role of the stolen ­generation”.

Last night NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said he was “aware of concerns in the community about content covered in a recent student concert” and requested a “full report from the Department of Education on what occurred”.

“While acknowledging the event was well intentioned, I wish to apologise to anyone who was offended by any of the performance,” he said.

A statement from the Department of Education said: “As part of the year six student presentation on the stolen generation, students reproduced placards they’d seen in source material. The Department of Education is currently looking at the circumstances of this particular activity.”

Parents and friends were outraged that the “children were used as political pawns”, read the full story here. 

Do you think the school did the wrong thing? How would you feel if your child was involved in this play?

Share your comments below. 

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  • Maybe this went a little too far…oops.


  • They should have thought things through properly.


  • the subject matter is very sensitive and they could have gone with a different theme. i can see how this would be offensive to many people


  • Going by what I see here then I am definitely appalled that this was done. Using school children as pawns to put a point across about the stolen generation is disgusting. I would have removed my children if I’d known what the play was about.


  • If it was for a political message then this is not appropriate for children. There is a means and way to teach this content in a more appropriate way.


  • It is hard to say as l haven’t got the full story and seen the play.


  • how ridiculous what a stupid idea


  • I’m sure there could have been a less confrontational way of teaching children the truth. After all they didn’t do these acts those many years ago, so why shame them?


  • Unfortunately this is part of our history & although it could be upsetting to some of the children & parents it cannot & must not be avoided.
    However, I think the school should have firstly surveyed the school community in a newsletter to ascertain if a play showing religious figures abusing the children of the stolen generation was something they found appropriate or too confronting.


  • I didn’t see the play , but think it isn’t wrong. This is part of our history and part of the damage we have caused to a group of people. The same way in Europe kids get taught about the second world war and Hitler, the same way it’s good for our kids to know what played here. With the rawness of this history we can teach our kids understanding and compassion.


  • I think most children at this age are too young to really understand and why should they learn about the abuse in this way. I think it can scar a child, just as I remember our school play as a happy time and lot’s of fun, I dread that children will have the memory of this being ‘fun’. Certainly better ways to teach children about the real history without acting out the drama.


  • Without seeing this play myself it’s rather hard to comment but I think there maybe better ways to educate the young.

    • I agree – there are so many sensitive ways to teach children and also opportunities to discuss and reflect too.


  • I think there are more effective and less controversial ways to teach history. But as long as they weren’t emotionally scarring kids, then its up to the parents to get their backs up and not the rest of the country.


  • Broadly, I don’t think the school did anything wrong. Although, depending on how explicit the “abuse” was, I might have some concerns about that.


  • I don’t think the school did anything wrong
    This is true


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