Christian schools have asked federal politicians to declare their stance on religious education, in a fightback against discrimination reform. Source: The Australian.
In a letter sent to every federal MP on Wednesday, Christian Schools Australia (CSA) revealed that a survey of 8500 parents from 101 schools shows that most rate Christian values and beliefs above academic performance or school facilities.
“Will you support the right of parents to choose a school which can choose all staff based on their belief in, and adherence to, the doctrines, tenets and beliefs of the religion concerned … (and to) teach in accordance with those doctrines?’’ the letter states.
The CSA asked MPs to declare whether religious schools should be able to “enforce standards of conduct and behaviour within the school community consistent with the doctrines, tenets and beliefs of the religion’’.
The letter will fuel debate over the legal right of religious schools – which educate roughly one in three Australian children – to discriminate against students and staff in line with religious teachings.
The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) is examining a legislative loophole that lets religious schools discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship status or pregnancy.
In a discussion paper, the ALRC has proposed making such discrimination unlawful, while also requiring staff to “respect the educational institution’s religious ethos’’.
Christian schools fight for the right of a religious education (By Natasha Bita, The Australian)