ICYMI, this morning, Pauline Hanson came under fire for saying that autistic children should be removed from mainstream classrooms and instead be taught in separate areas.
The One Nation leader made the comments during debate on the federal government’s proposed schools overhaul in the Senate on Wednesday, saying that teachers were spending too much time on disabled children and were, therefore, holding others in the class back.
"If it was one of my children I would love all the time given to them to give them those opportunities - but is it at the loss of our other kids?" she said.
"It’s no good saying 'We’ve got to allow these kids to feel good about themselves and we don’t want to upset them and make them feel hurt', and I understand that, but we have to be realistic at times and consider the impact that is having on other children in that classroom," Senate Hanson continued.
"We can’t afford to hold our kids back: we have the rest of the world and other kids in other countries who are going ahead [in] leaps and bounds ahead of us."
Watch the full video below:
Senator Hanson is drawing extreme criticism from all sides of politics for making the comment.
Emma Husar has a child on the autism spectrum and is calling to Pauline Hanson to apologise to “every single autistic child in this country” after her suggestions.
Ms Husar, whose 10-year-old son, Mitch was diagnosed at 18 months old, spoke emotionally of her fury at the One Nation leader, who said autistic children in mainstream classrooms held other students back.
“She owes an apology to every single autistic child in this country. Every one of the parents who are like me because we’ve got better things to do than defend our kids. She owes an apology to the 164,000 Australians who have autism spectrum disorder, the children and the adults who have been told for a long time that they don’t belong,” Ms Husar said.
She continues in the emotional video below:
She then published a series of tweets, calling again for Ms. Hanson to apologise for her remarks.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten also quickly hit back at Hanson's comments, writing on Twitter: "Heartbreaking and upsetting for parents of children with autism to hear @PaulineHansonOz say their kids don’t deserve the same opportunity."
Shorten then read to Parliament an email he had received from a parent of a disabled child, which reads: "What the senator is saying is that our clever, funny, naughty, spunky kid doesn’t deserve a good education."
"That she doesn’t deserve the same opportunities as other kids. That she is lesser. Not worthy. Not really one of us."
Others took to Twitter to share heartwarming photos of their autistic children.