Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

The religion in schools battle continues

with 4 comments

Further to my article Religion in public schools – NO!, I particpate in the FIRIS campaign to stop this.  I am publishing this email I received today because I want to spread this as far an wide as possible.  I am still stunned we have a state government with a foundation principle of individual freedoms and yet we have to fight this?  Unbelievable!

Martin Dixon is quoted as saying, “I’ve gotten no complaints”.  Really?  I know I’ve personally written to him twice, so there is two complaints.  I don’t think this campaign by FIRIS is exactly an endorsement!  Besides, what terrible English!

Let me repeat, from the party’s web site:

We believe in the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples; and we work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives; and maximises individual and private sector initiative.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Dear friends and fellow parents,

Thank you for personally communicating how unfair and intrusive the current policy of SRI is to you and your family. If you haven’t already, you will be getting a formulaic response from Minister for Education Martin Dixon.

His letter is intended to make you feel helpless and to make you go away. The message contained in Martin Dixon’s letter is “talk to the hand”.

Even so, you are making an enormous difference but this isn’t a one round match. Right now, Martin Dixon fears the group who assert that they have a right to use our schools as a “mission field” more than he fears you.

If you want to hear Martin Dixon’s thoughts, listen to this 7 minute interview he gave on talk radio:

Derryn Hinch on 3AW interrogates Martin Dixon

This is in lock step with ACCESS Ministries.

ACCESS Ministries has been repeated exposed as liars, and it is clear that they are methodically exploiting our schools Listen to the evidence . Martin Dixon has chosen to ignore this, so far. He’s instead decided to play semantic games, and he’s counting on your acquiescence.

Instead of recognizing that the Victorian Teachers Union, leading religious educators, many religious leaders, and of course the majority of parents have all complained about his policy… Martin Dixon has gone public to defend ACCESS Ministries by saying that no one has told him “personally” that “ACCESS Ministries has forced religion down a child’s throat”.

Unfortunately for Martin Dixon, people are actually looking at what ACCESS Ministries do in our schools, and one leading curriculum expert described their lessons as:

”primitively anti-educational … a crude form of missionary indoctrination that went out of style in the 1950s”

Martin Dixon thinks he can be a propaganda officer for ACCESS Ministries and their activist mob who assert they have a “God given open door to reach children in our schools”. He thinks he can write you a “non response” letter and dump this mess on principals and teachers. He can’t. We won’t let him.

We will not accept this disgraceful performance, and we will not allow our schools to be open to sectarian interests of any sort, religious or otherwise, to commandeer parts or the whole of public education.

This means that you will have to keep pounding at the door. You will have to write again, you will have to call, you will have to explain to your friends why they should care and what they should do. The Minister of Education can ignore the Union, he can ignore religious educators and he can ignore the honest and progressive clergy. The one faction he can not ignore is: YOU.

The Minister of Education does not works for ACCESS Ministries, he works for YOU. He is an elected public servant, and as a parent with children in the school, he is answerable to you, and not the board of ACCESS Ministries.

If you haven’t already written to Martin Dixon about this, do so now. If you already have dig it out and resend with reference to his dismissal. Make it personal and make it clear that you are not going away.

Find your MP here

The men who are in charge of implementation of the Minister’s policy are:

Dennis Torpy, Sr. officer for Student Wellbeing: torpy.dennis.v@edumail.vic.gov.au

Duncan McGauchie, Chief of Staff for Minister Dixon: duncan.mcgauchie@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Additionally, Barry McGaw, chairman, National Curriculum Authority: bmcgaw@unimelb.edu.au , should hear from you as well, because of his comments today in the Sunday AGE who ran another story reporting on the controversy over SRI today.

The website remains the best way to keep abreast of the news on this issue, so please keep encouraging your friends to register their emails with the campaign: http://religionsinschool.com/news/

Do not give up, this system will be changed and you will be the reason that it changes.

Thank you for your ongoing help,

THE FIRIS CAMPAIGN TEAM

PS: Here is a an easy cut and paste for the emails:

martin.dixon@parliament.vic.gov.au

ted.baillieu@parliament.vic.gov.au

torpy.dennis.v@edumail.vic.gov.au

duncan.mcgauchie@minstaff.vic.gov.au

bmcgaw@unimelb.edu.au

religionsinschool@gmail.com

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Written by Robyn Dunphy

May 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Posted in News

4 Responses

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  1. Hi Robyn

    New South Wales now has ethics as an option instead of scripture and non-scripture. I am a volunteer ethics teacher at the local primary school. The kids love it!

    It was a long, hard fight by some extremely dedicated people, The website is http://www.primaryethics.com.au/

    Narelle

    July 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm

  2. Keep up the good fight! Religion is a issue for the private individual and so of course while government and schools should make provisions to provide inclusive educaion that doesn’t exclude those of faith, foisting one religion on children is both a gross misunderstanding of their responsibilities and an abuse of young minds. Wish you all the best in your campaign.

    lurid tales of doom

    May 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    • Thank you! This is the most ridiculous situation I have ever been involved in.

      Team Oyeniyi

      May 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm


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