NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham has called out the ABC’s children’s program Play School for introducing youngsters to concepts such as racism and privilege in a recent segment.
The program, aimed at children under the age of six, ran an episode featuring presenters Rachael and Luke as they attempted to define racism for toddlers.
Notes for educators and families released alongside the episode state: “It is well documented that children can internalise racial bias between the ages of 2 and 4 years and by the age of 12, many become set in their beliefs…”
Mr Latham took to Facebook on Tuesday, where he suggested the segment was not appropriate for toddlers. Latham wrote:
“Check out this special episode of Play School urging toddlers to help ‘put a stop to racism’ by ‘using their big strong voices.’”
“The presenter says, ‘Not all people get the same opportunities as everyone else, that’s not fair and that unfairness can feel very painful and frustrating.’
“‘For all those little white privileged toddlers having morning tea, sipping their poppers, eating their Tiny Teddy biccies,’ says a concerned grandmother.
“What happened to not interfering with childhood innocence? As studies have shown too much information at an inappropriate age can cause damage.
“Do kids need to burden themselves with adult feelings of guilt and revenge?”
In the segment, the presenters urged youngsters to use their “strong voices to say NO to racism whenever we see it.”
“Not all people get the same opportunities as everyone else,” Rachael says. “That’s not fair. And that unfairness can feel very painful and frustrating.”
“That’s right,” Luke replies. “Because it doesn’t matter what you look like, or where you’re from, we all deserve the same opportunities and to be treated fairly.”
It’s estimated that approximately 80% of pre-school children under the age of six watch Play School at least once a week.