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Religious Instruction in State Schools.

Should religious instruction be permitted in New Zealand State Schools?

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The vote is already over! It ended on Wednesday, 30.April 2014 (00:00).

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Interfaith educator,Jean Holm says the present Bible in Schools programme is inappropriate and needs to be replaced.

Ms Holm says the problem with Bible in Schools is that it assumes the truth of Christian beliefs and this is inappropriate for a programme that includes children from non-Christian backgrounds. She says the designers of the Bible in Schools programme claim they are broadminded and that they are not brainwashing children, but the fact that they assume Christian beliefs about God and Jesus are true, shows they are brainwashing.

Read more: Interfaith Educator Slams Bible in Schools

All Children Deserve an Education in Values

The Secular Education Network has been established to support parents who believe that Values are important in the education of all our children. That Values education should be provided on a non discriminatory basis.

Read more: Secular Education Network

The primary motivation behind the Keep Religion Out Of Schools campaign is to support parents who have approached us with their experiences and concerns.

Often parents are not informed of religious indoctrination classes at all. When they do discover their children are participating they often find that the classes have been linked with 'Values' classes, thus forcing them to make a decision between having values and religion taught, or no values taught at all. Opting young children out means they are being separated from their classmates, and often have little comprehension of the reasons. Often they think they are being punished. Parents who are not religious are pressured into allowing religious indoctrination in order not to stigmatize their children. In some cases children opting out have been given degrading tasks such as picking up rubbish while religious classes are in progress. Some schools also make it onerous and difficult to opt out by insisting on written notices periodically.

Read more: Why a Campaign Now?

Talk to Your Child

Find out what is being taught in these classes, and which children are opting out. Find out where the opting-out children go and what activities they do during that time. Those children's parents are ones most likely to be your allies. Talk to the parents, and refer them to the Keep Religion out of School Facebook page.

Read more: What Can Be Done?

We strongly believe that government should be secular; that is dealing with the issues of this world rather than following a religious agenda. Our law should not give one set of beliefs privilege over another and the state should treat religious organisations the same as any other organisation. The rights of freedom of belief and freedom of expression, must be upheld as long as these are not used to undermine other people's rights to safety and security.

Read more: Why Oppose Religious Instruction?

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