Monday, May 16, 2011


Wayne Flower From: Herald Sun May 17, 2011

UPDATE 9.39am: THE group behind a children's book that endorses killing police officers say several school have expressed interest in it.

And Chief Commissioner Simon Overland says police can't do anything to stop the twisted book being shopped around schools.

The authors - members of a heavy metal band - defended the book's perverse content, saying it will "provoke discussion" among impressionable children.

Band spokeswoman Sarah Dobbs said 17 schools across four states had expressed interest in the book - even thought it has not yet been approved by the Classification Board.

Ms Dobbs said it was important to contradict the message given to children of "wildly unrealistic stereotypes of police-as-superheroes" and to encourage scepticism of law-and-order policies.

"We find it surprising and saddening that despite these reports (of police violence), there are still almost constant public calls for more police officers to be deployed, and for police to be granted ever-broader powers over their fellow Australians," Ms Dobbs said.

The picture book, titled Lilly, tells the story of a little girl whose friends are racially vilified, tortured and shot by police, prompting her to murder a police officer resembling Mr Overland.

Mr Overland said police command had been aware of the book from "a little while ago’’ and looked at what it could do.

"There’s not anything we can do to stop it. I think the book will speak for itself,’’ Mr Overland told radio station MTR.

Education Minister Martin Dixon said there was no chance the book would be added to the curriculum.

"This material is highly offensive and absolutely disgraceful," he said. "It has no place in Victorian schools or the broader community.

"Victorian parents do not want their children exposed to obscene and violent material and I believe principals will not tolerate it being circulated in our schools."

But Ms Dobbs defended the book.

"The basis of Lilly is the idea that the simplified stories we're told as children can affect the way we later perceive the world as adults," she wrote in a letter to schools.

The book depicts police as violent monsters who:

BEAT a dark-skinned boy on the ground with batons.

ELECTROCUTE a little girl who is looking after a sick friend at a park.

SHOOT dead a boy named Tyler because he misses his dad.

Lilly, the "hero" of the book, saves the day by shooting "Simon Overkill" in the head, releasing a rainbow and doves from his skull.

Victoria Police declined to comment, but Police Association secretary Sen-Sgt Greg Davies dismissed the book as a bad joke.

"These twisted morons can sit around their marijuana-fuelled campfire telling each other their twisted tales, collecting the dole from the rest of us and leave our children to be reared by their parents," he said.

The book states: "All depictions of police brutality are taken from real events, reported by the media."

Ms Dobbs told the Herald Sun by email she expected schools to welcome the book into curriculums.

"We've already been in contact with many political studies, English, media and communications teachers keen to look at the issues raised in Lilly," she wrote.

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