Pauline Hanson has accused opponents on several occasions over disability comments from a political point-scoring point of view. Pauline, the leader of One Nation, has vehemently stood by comments that students with physical challenges should be given special attention and even taught in separate classes.
Disability politicians, as well as advocates, have slammed claims from Ms. Hanson that children with disabilities and autism should be removed and separated from the mainstream classes urging that this school of thought would amount to segregation.
Nonetheless, after in-depth criticism, Senator Pauline this afternoon appeared in a rare media conference and said that she was not regretting and apologising for her previous comments.
She said, “In one of my speech on the Parliament’s floor, which was not written, it was just a comment like any other and that I am not walking away from what I have already said.”
While the senator stood by her comments and position, the senator representing Queensland claimed that Pauline had been misrepresented.
“For anyone to come out and openly admit that students with disabilities should not in one classroom is a lie. This is indeed misrepresentation and is just for political point-scoring,” she said.
So, is Pauline Hanson wrong?
As soon as Hanson’s comment went viral, parents of children with disabilities and other special needs reacted strongly opposing the call to separate and remove their children from the mainstream classrooms.
One Nation leader said that she had been overwhelmed with comments including those from parents as well as teachers. She further said that people are expressing frustration at inadequate resources for schools and educators to kids with special needs.
Ms. Hanson stated that she hadn’t asked for extra money for children with disabilities or autism and she denied saying that those children don’t belong in the mainstream.
This is what she said, “I am only requesting that they should be given special attention because they need that attention.” She further explained that there’re different levels of autism and even parents and teachers are aware of that.
It is not only parents and teachers who have condemned Ms. Hanson’s comments, but other politicians also from all sides of the country. For instance, the Social Services Minister, Porter Christian, told the media that her comments were unhelpful and archaic. Labor MP, Emma Husar, who is also one of the parents with children with autism, said that the senator’s remarks are unacceptable and that she should apologize to every single child with disability and autism in this country.
Disability advocates responded on Senator Hanson’s claims that there are baseless with no supportive evidence.
People With Disabilities ACT campaign director Mr. Craig Wallace said, “the evidence before them reveal that children with disabilities poorly perform when they are taught in separate classes than when they are in a single mainstream with other students.”