Earlier this year Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools featured in an article in Australian Rationalist magazine about grassroots organisations agitating to curtail religious instruction in Australian government schools.
Effecting political change is often seen as something beyond ordinary citizens, but local action can yield results.
Alison Courtice spoke on behalf of Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools, saying:
“We believe that state schools should be free of religion unless you are going to have religious education comparing religions as part of the formal curriculum taught by teachers – we see benefit in that.
You hear from everybody: teachers, principals, parents, that there is way too much happening in schools. There is pressure on the curriculum. It is absolutely a no-brainer to remove dividing children along religious lines for instruction in how to be a of a particular religion.
If religious instruction is what is important to parents it is available in family time. There are places of worship in every suburb. Parents can take their children to Sunday school.”
Source: Australian Rationalist Magazine, June 2018
Religious Freedom Review
On 22 November 2017, the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, announced the appointment of an Expert Panel to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion.
Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools has prepared the following submission to the review:
The Connect series is published by Christian Education Publications, the publishing arm of the Sydney Anglican Diocese. It is commonly used by religious volunteers to deliver Religious Instruction in state schools around Queensland.
These materials are not part of the formal school curriculum and are not endorsed by the Queensland Department of Education and Training.
Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools have reproduced the lesson aims and outcomes so that parents are able to make an informed choice when considering whether to enrol their child in Religious Instruction.
Parents can find the information on this page.
QPSSS is disappointed to see that Queensland state schools continue to fall prey to opportunistic evangelists. Not only are antiquated rules that allow access to students during school hours being exploited, QPSSS has uncovered an example of one state school evangelist posting photos of children in his RI class on the internet, boasting that they have been ‘born again’ thanks to his evangelism.
We’ve been sharing examples of schools that have assembly prayers or creeds with religious references.
It should be clear to everyone that has followed us for a while that parents are largely on their own if they want to effect changes and make their school inclusive of everyone.
Here are the thoughts of one parent who is trying to have her school remove the prayer from assembly.
QPSSS has prepared an example of the completed ‘Information to parents and consent form- religious instruction and other instruction’, to assist parents and principals.