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Sunday, 2 March 2014

School Principals in Revolt

School Principals in Revolt

School Principals in Revolt

Joe Kelly1One
interesting characteristic of an undersea earthquake or a tsunami is
that, for the most part, it is silent until it reaches land. Using that
as an analogy one could say an undersea earthquake has erupted within
the ranks of Victorian school principals and their school councils and
has reached land. Its objective: to end the practice of religious
education programs in their schools. This earthquake arrived last week
when a courageous school principal, Joe Kelly from Cranbourne Primary
School, went public on the nature of Christian Religious Education
(CRE), being provided by Access Ministries, the organisation providing
the service to public schools in Victoria. Mr Kelly’s concerns were the
subject of an article by Konrad Marshall in The Age newspaper on 17th February.


Mr Kelly stated that he would no longer allow Access Ministries in his school. “It is not education,” he said. “It
has no value whatsoever. It is rubbish – hollow and empty rhetoric … My
school teachers are committed to teaching children, not indoctrinating
them.” The objection Mr Kelly and other school principals have
is that Access Ministries is proselytising rather than informing;
instructing rather than educating. Mr Kelly has also questioned the
qualifications of the volunteers provided by Access Ministries stating
that they are not professional teachers and undergo just six hours
training before they are sent into schools. Meanwhile, the response to
Konrad Marshall’s article was extraordinary to say the least, recording
over 14,000 Facebook likes and 175 comments highlighting the concerns
many parents have about faith-based religious education.



The article also brought a quick response from the Victorian
Education Minister, Martin Dixon who appeared to give tacit support to
the principals’ actions. He said he had “full confidence in school principals making decisions in the interests of their parent body and the school community”.


Excerpt from the article



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