A federal politician has labelled keeping kids out of Queensland classrooms as "witchcraft" and urged parents to call the police if their children are turned away at the school gate because of coronavirus fears.
However, police say they are powerless to act until the state's chief health officer Jeanette Young orders the school to reopen, and even then complaints should be directed to the education department.
Andrew Laming is the Liberal National Party MP in the Brisbane seat of Bowman and chair of federal parliament's standing committee on employment, education and training.
He made the bizarre appeal to parents to contact police during in a video posted to Facebook on Thursday.
Mr Laming insists vulnerable students from poorer families are falling behind their peers while essential workers are being bullied into keeping their children at home.
"Please, pick up your enrolment forms, hold them above your head, march into school, drop your kids off and if they try and prevent those kids from going to school, call the police," he said.
"This is witchcraft. We are back in the Middle Ages with these unions."
He described the decision to open schools only for the children of essential workers and vulnerable families as a war against working mums.
The Queensland government will consider whether or not to open schools to all student in mid-May.
Mr Laming believes schools aren't opening because the Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace is being controlled by unions.
Ms Grace hit back, describing his claims as outrageous.
"This is from someone who I'm starting to think is acting a little bit idiotic and it is quite ridiculous," she said.
"Every single school in Australia and around the world is impacted by this pandemic.
"So these outrageous claims, calling unnecessary anxiety and causing stress amongst our principals and teachers, are simply ridiculous."
Australian Associated Press