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Pauline Hanson Says Disabled Children Should Be Separated At School

The politician is under fire for her "heartbreaking" comments

Pauline Hanson is 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.”

Opposition leader Bill Shorten 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.

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