Whilst I am not Christian, I strongly disagree with those who are trying to eliminate religious education programs from our public schools. We have had a tradition of offering religious education as an elective class at public schools over many years and I see no reason to change that.
One issue that does perplex me is why schools haven’t been able to schedule a real alternative. Ethics classes are not the answer because unlike religion which one either subscribes to or not, ethics is someones version of what is moral and just (I may disagree strongly with what someone believes is ethical). Free time is also not a solution either. It sends the wrong message at school to provide free time when children continue to struggle with their basic skills.
I believe that extra maths and English classes should be scheduled at the same time as religious education classes. This would ensure that those who aren’t religious have a real and worthwhile alternative to R.E. lessons.
Although I think this Queensland mother has overreacted, I can see her point:
A Queensland mother has accused the state’s education department of discrimination, claiming children who opt out of religious instruction classes are left disadvantaged.
Tricia Moore, who has filed an anti-discrimination complaint, said she was contemplating taking the Department of Education, Training and Employment to the state’s civil tribunal.
She said the department had failed to provide a proper alternative for children who opted out of religious instruction, with students instead left to sit in corridors or carry out meaningless work.