One Nation senator Pauline Hanson has been criticised for her call for children with autism to be removed from mainstream classrooms.
“These kids have a right to an education, by all means, but, if there are a number of them, these children should go into a special classroom and be looked after and given that special attention,” she said, suggesting that they need “special attention” and that their extra needs means other children get overlooked.
“I think that we have more autistic children, yet we are not providing the special classrooms or the schools for these autistic children.”
She made the comments during a debate on the federal government’s school funding legislation, where she also announced that her party will back the government’s $18.6 billion funding package.
Both Labor and the Greens have condemned Hanson’s remarks, and advocacy groups have called her proposal “repulsive and bigoted”.
Autism Australia chief executive Nicole Rogerson argued Hanson had taken the discussion about inclusive education “back about 50 years” with her comments.
“If she cares about the battlers, she needs to know that those battlers have got kids with autism and they’re struggling,” she told the ABC.
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