Education Minister Kate Jones
Education Minister Kate Jones Contributed

Religious instruction in Qld schools facing review

A QUEENSLAND school has suspended religious instruction after complaints from parents that children were being 'solicited' into Christianity.

Windsor State School principal Matthew Keong wrote to parents to say the religious syllabus, Connect, which had been used at the school, was not approved.

Concerns had been raised about it at a P&C meeting.

The case has prompted Education Queensland to review religious materials being used at all state schools, Fairfax reported.

The lesson in question taught children "every single person has sinned and rejected God and deserves to be punished".

"Religious instruction policy defines proselytising as 'soliciting a student for a decision to change their religion's affiliation,'' Mr Keong wrote in the letter to parents last week.

"Solicit by its ordinary meaning is to ask for, to try to obtain, to persuade, to seek, to influence and express the need or desire.''

"Connect's lesson materials go beyond imparting knowledge of Biblical references, and extend to soliciting children to develop a personal faith in God and Jesus to become a Christian or 'Kingdom Kid'.

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"In the teachers' manuals, the Connect authors remind instructors that most of their audience is not yet Christian, and the whole program appears to be based on that premise of trying to solicit them for a decision to become the kind of Christian prescribed in the materials."

OPINION: Are we still throwing Christians into the lion's den in 2016



Education Minister Kate confirmed that the Connect program was facing review.

"The Department of Education has had a long-term policy in place to ensure appropriate materials are taught as part of any religious instruction program in state schools," she said.

"It's concerning to me that any materials are being taught outside of those guidelines.

"That's why I have asked the department to review the Connect materials.

"If it is found these materials are outside the guidelines we will remove it from schools."



What you're saying on Facebook:

Michelle Groves: "kids have enough to study without bringing religion into schools again, Religion should be completely seperate from schools it really is just a recruitment for the churches at the end of the day."

Adrian Wensley: "Australia was set up with a secular public education system and it should stay that way. Send your kids to Sunday school if you want them brainwashed. In addition to the article regarding primary schoools, high schools are shying away from trained councilors in preference of 'free/fundraised' unskilled chaplaincy programs."

Peter Ayling: "my children are absolutely NOT allowed to attend religious studies at school. religion is a personal choice and not one for adults to make for them. when they're old enough to make an informed choice they are more than welcome to choose one for themselves."

Wendy Joan Streeter: "Christianity should be in schools and taught. Past comments say its a choice. Yes it is a choice and if its not taught to children how can they choose. This is then taking the choice from them from them that you have made for them by saying no to christianity in schools. Very hypocritical. The world is the way it is today because people have taken God out of it."

Carolyn Thompson: "Our son is at a state school so it is not in the regular curriculum but we do have access to the chaplaincy program and can opt for a religious lesson each week - its is not compulsory. If you send your child told a catholic or lutheran or anglican school etc etc then the expectation is there that that is what they will be taught."

James Carroll: "Religion shouldn't be brought into schools. Practising religion is a choice, but it seems like a requirement in many schools. There are so many more life skills I wish I learnt in high school - taxes, banking, loans, mortgages, travelling, renting, buying eg...School should be educating students not converting them."

Chelcie Tamaira: "If a family is religious & wants it to be imbedded in the child, it should be done from home & obviously weekends. It's a waste of school time and resource in my eyes."

John Mellor: "Learning about Jesus and His teachings never hurt anyone e.g. loving your fellow man, not stealing or hurting others etc. We need to support RI even more!!!"

Asha Butler: "No, definitely not. Who is it hurting? If kids come away knowing they are loved and with a sense purpose for their life and an understanding of how to love other people then what is the big fuss?"

Jenny Hesketh: "I think children should be taught about all the different religions of the world in schools, not just Christianity."

Bat Mel: "You only have to look at some of the Connect lessons to see that their intention isn't to tell students about Christianity, but to gain converts."

David John Linwood: "Schools are to teach kids facts. Church is for religion. The end."

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