Bible lessons lead to court

NZ Stuff
February 22 2015
Laura Walters

SECULAR SYSTEM? Violet McClintock, 9, with her parents, Lisa Reynolds and Jeff McClintock

A father is taking his child’s school and the attorney-general to the High Court in a landmark case over school Bible lessons.

Things turned sour between the school in Red Beach, a suburb on the Hibiscus Coast, and Jeff McClintock after his daughter, Violet, now nine, was placed in Bible classes without parental permission.

One of the Bible class teachers from Life in Focus Trust, a volunteer who was not a qualified teacher, said parents did not need to be notified because the classes were “history lessons” as the Bible was factually correct.

The school operated an “opt out” system, but McClintock said despite opting out, Violet was repeatedly put back in.

After numerous complaints, McClintock was bringing his case against Red Beach School Board of Trustees for breaching its duties under the Education Act 1989 and against the attorney-general for passing legislation that was inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights.

Board of trustees chairman Antony Wentworth said the legal action was a “frustration” and a “distraction from core business”.

The first hearing was set down for March 26 at the High Court at Auckland.

– Sunday Star Times

My Conclusion

It outrageous that the school didn’t inform the child’s parents and sent some misleading information about Bibles being taught to children in primary school. Parents always have a right to know what their children taught at school. Good on him as the father of the child to take the school to court because the school didn’t inform the parents or being given misleading information about bible lessons in schools.
And here another story of a mother of 7 year old child being bullied for not taking bible at school which is a form of discrimination. and here the story from 3 News: Mother crusades for religion-free schools below.

A Christchurch woman has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission because she says her son was picked on for not taking part in religious instruction at his school.

Tanya Jacob wants the practice removed from all state schools, because she says it breaches human rights.

She says her seven-year-old son faced discrimination when she pulled him out of religious lessons at Harewood Primary.

“Kids are saying things like, ‘You’re going to hell. Why don’t you believe in God?’ And it goes on and on,” says Ms Jacob. “While you may say that’s bullying, it’s a corrosive environment for children to be in.”

Ms Jacob says initially the school ignored her request for her son to be removed from the weekly half-hour classes run by local churchgoers.

She says when she went to the board of trustees it allowed her son to do dishes while the other children took part in religious lessons.

“It became very upsetting for our children to go to school, particularly on Bible-in-schools day, and I’d have a very upset boy at the end of the day,” she says.

Harewood School principal Julie Greenwood told RadioLIVE she doesn’t believe there has been any discrimination.

“They may have done some jobs with their teacher during that time if there was just one child in the class,” says Ms Greenwood. “What is in place now is that there is supervision in the library, which is for children who don’t participate.”

Ms Jacob pulled her kids out of Harewood School at the end of 2012, but she hasn’t stopped there.

She has teamed up with the Secular Education Network, which is pushing to have religious instruction in state schools banned.

“That law that permits the Bible in schools is incompatible with the Human Rights Act,” says David Hine from the Secular Education Network. “That’s quite a complicated legal case. No local school is going to be able to do that kind of challenge, but together we think we can.”

Mr Hine says he hopes the Human Rights Commission gets on board their campaign as well.

3 News

Here we have it. We all got stand up against this outrageous religion dogma being push into children. And I not trying to offend the people with their religious belief, I cover this news because we know school for education not indoctrination

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