“A mother writes to me, torn with guilt about a decision she made about the education of her daughter, who began kindergarten this year. The family doesn’t believe in ”structured religion”, preferring instead to raise their children as ”tolerant of all religions but followers of none”.
For this reason, she refused her child’s participation in scripture instruction offered by the school.
But the five-year-old was the only child in her year to be excused from the lesson and so was forced to sit alone outside the classroom while it proceeded. The little girl was so distressed that her mother – let’s call her Karen – reluctantly gave permission for her to attend Anglican scripture. But the decision doesn’t feel right and she’s still not sure that it is. What should she do?
An alternative would be for the child to have the option to attend Ethics classes rather than the ”structured religion” her mother preferred her not to attend. However there are organisations out there that for some reason would deny parents the option of their children receiving state provided education without religions instruction. Word on the street is a rent-a-crowd have been busy inundating NSW MLC Penny Sharpe’s inbox, pleading with the government to kill the St James Centre NSW ethics classes so they won’t compete with scripture classes.
We need to let Penny know that there is widespread support for the ethics classes in NSW. It would be great if you could all alert your family and friends of this, and encourage them to send a message of support today.
Here’s the page to contact her by email: http://pennysharpe.com/contact
Or you can tweet her at @PennySharpemlc
Or send her a message on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pennysharpemlc
Media coverage of the issue:
Jayson D Cooke