A South Australian primary school has blown past its $900 goal to raise more than $100,000 for a girl's education charity after their efforts were labelled "absurd" by an Australian senator.
On Friday morning, the school had raised $153,738 -- and it doesn't look like the donations are going to slow down any time soon.
Craigburn Primary School gave all students and staff the option of wearing a dress to school for a day to help raise money for the Do It In A Dress charity, which helps send girls in developing countries go to school.
Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi -- who is currently engaged in a culture war over same sex marriage -- decided their efforts were "gender morphing" and "absurd," and told the Adelaide Advertiser he did not understand casual dress day has suddenly become "wear a dress to school day".
"In the midst of a debate about the safe school gender ideology program, the redefinition of marriage and attempts to de-genderise society it seems this school is playing into a political cause rather than an educational one," Bernardi said.
Actor and Comedian Josh Thomas weighed in on Wednesday night, leading the charge for fundraising efforts after noting the link to Craigburn's explanation of the charity day had gone down (it did, briefly). Fast forward a day and the school has raised just under $35,000 by midday on Thursday.
"These kids are being bullied by Cory for trying to help underprivileged girls," Thomas said.
"The site it linked to has been taken down. It appears he won."
How terrific! The Craigburn kids have been asleep during all this and will wake up to a tremendous $16k surprise! https://t.co/aDcziX8qVZ— Josh Thomas 🌈 (@JoshThomas87) September 20, 2017
And the efforts kept skyrocketing from there -- By 8pm on Thursday night, that figure had also more then doubled to exceed $100,000 for the cause.
THEY WERE TRYING TO RAISE $900. What a bunch of tiny heroes. https://t.co/biTy8wcaTc— Josh Thomas 🌈 (@JoshThomas87) September 21, 2017
South Australia Education minister Susan Close hit back at Bernardi too.
"It's a fundraiser for girls' education in Africa the kids thought up. Get a sense of humour and perspective and leave our kids out of politics," she said.
It's a fundraiser for girls' education in Africa the kids thought up. Get a sense of humour & perspective & leave our kids out of politics.— Susan Close MP (@susan_close) September 20, 2017
Whether people were taking Close's advice or not, many responded to Bernardi's war-cry with pure giggles.
How right you are. pic.twitter.com/zooAPDhHfo— Writer in Residence (@MikeCullen73) September 20, 2017
This one is nice. pic.twitter.com/KMUlBVlUK0— Substandard & Poor (@64AnthonyP) September 20, 2017
You mean like this? pic.twitter.com/PFIlhGPpKB— kathmayer 💫 (@kathmayer) September 20, 2017