The following are 6 questions that a concerned parent recently asked their child’s school board of trustees about Bible in Schools. Often, religious instruction classes continue simply because they’ve always been there and successive board members have just kept approving them annually without really giving any consideration to whether they are still appropriate in our increasingly diverse society.
Please ask your school the same questions: Download A Printable Version (PDF)
1. What value does Bible in Schools give to our school?
- Tradition and history aside, what benefit does bible in schools this provide to our school community?
2. Is there potential for parents and/or children at our school to feel like they are experiencing religious discrimination because of Bible in Schools?
- Is there the potential for Bible in Schools to cause a division within the school community?
- Could some parents feel uncomfortable talking with the school about their concerns about Bible in Schools? If so, why?
- Is it feasible to talk with older children about how they feel when they are made to leave their classroom because their parents don’t want them to participate or they don’t wish to participate?
3. Does the Board feel adequately informed to comment on the value Bible in Schools may offer to the school?
- Have members sat in on sessions?
- Do they understand what the legislation allowing religious instruction requires?
- Have members read the teacher’s manuals?
4. Are parents currently adequately informed to be able to decide whether or not they support their children to attend Bible in Schools?
- Have they been given the teacher’s manuals?
- Are they encouraged/invited to sit in on a session?
- Do parents know that what they teach is not endorsed by the school or part of the school curriculum?
- Do parents know the volunteers are not trained teachers?
- Do parents understand that public primary schools by law are secular and legally must close to provide Bible in Schools?
- Do parents understand their rights to be free from discrimination under the Bill of Rights and that Bible in Schools is currently in a very contentious position and is being challenged in the High Court?
5. For families who support Bible in Schools, what value does this weekly 30-minute session provide them that they couldn’t access within their own homes, communities and churches?
- Tradition and history aside, why does our School feel like it should offer religious instruction and close the school down, rather than simply leave families to practice their own religions outside of school time?
6. Our school values inclusivity and treating people with different cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds and religious beliefs as equals. Is closing the school to provide religious instruction for one faith in conflict with these values?
- What message does the provision of Bible in Schools give to new enrolments about the values of our School and its attitude towards inclusivity?
- Looking into the future with a growing and changing roll and demographic, is Bible in Schools going to reflect the needs and values of the school community?