AIMS OF FIRIS

  • Maintain an inclusive school curriculum that does not require any student to withdraw from class on account of different religious beliefs.
  • Formally cease the practice of volunteer-run special religious instruction (SRI) during school hours.
  • Follow an objective, fair and balanced comparative syllabus for education about religions and beliefs.
  • Treat all religious organisations who wish to use the school facilities outside of the school day with transparent and equitable policies.

FIRIS is a parent-driven grassroots effort.  More, you say?

 

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Fairness In Religions In School

Youth for Christ conduct religious seminars, under the name of "AUSLIFE", in public high schools - often getting in via the chaplains. They exist to bring youth to Christ and their work in schools often "bears fruit". As in the case of young John, who tells how his life was transformed after attending one of these seminars at his school, in this YFC video. https://www.youtube.com/v/9YZ57Fq3w1w?rel=0 They also attempt to obtain contact details from the students, so their church can approach them after the event for follow up. And as you can see from the pic in one of their newsletters (below), even the school teachers are fair game! This is going on in public schools right across Australia right now. Public schools are being used as church recruiting grounds. Facilitated by the chaplains. And this is how these religious incursions are typically presented to parents in school newsletters: AUSLIFE WORKSHOP Secondary students will once again participate in the annual Auslife workshops on Friday. Auslife is a full day interactive and fast-paced seminar designed for senior high school students aged between 15 and 18. Auslife has a great reputation for engaging students in a compelling way, focused on values, relationships and challenges they face in everyday life. The seminars focus on: Goals and Values, Relationships and Self Esteem. ... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago

Narelle Friar:( wrong.2 days ago

Narelle Friarjust wrong!!2 days ago

Kay ClarkeLies all lies! What way is there of proving their story? I suspect the extra teachers, if there were any, were there to see what it was all about and report back. Must have been some lively discussions around the coffee machine and in staff meeting. So chaplains have been planted in schools to convert kids. Who would ever have guessed? It's all so "Victorian era "when the government attempted to control the population with religion. Chaplains and SRI do not belong in our secular state schools!2 days ago

Lynette JoyAnd would this be tolerated if they were Islamic recruiting events in our schools?2 days ago

Fairness In Religions In School

"Ruth Pickard was one school-based welfare worker who would have lost her job this year because of the reforms, if it weren't for a new opportunity with her school. "I was quite fortunate in that I remained at the Blue Gum Community School in a different role, running their after-school care program, after I graduated with a diploma of secondary teaching from UC," she said. "But that doesn't mean what has happened isn't pretty destructive for school communities. Those positions are no longer being filled by people with a diverse range of skill sets and no religious agenda."" http://m.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/recruitment-drive-for-school-chaplains-as-secular-staff-make-way-20150127-12iwn3.html ... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

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Fairness In Religions In School

Today, and this week around the country, millions of Aussie kids will return to school - some for the very first time. The start of the school year is one of the busiest times for FIRIS, as parents - new to the public system - encounter SRI for the first time. Their reactions range from confusion, to frustration, to anger and outrage. Some are genuinely shocked that this would even be a part of the public school system, and had assumed that religion is only a factor at private schools. Others, who originally signed up for SRI, find the actual experience of it for their child and themselves unsettling and upsetting, and contact FIRIS for assistance. Some just need to speak to another parent for support. FIRIS offers this service to all our parent supporters, and as parents with children in the public school system ourselves, whose kids have been directly impacted by this program, we always do our best to assist, advise ... or just listen. We are contacted by all sectors of the community - same sex families, immigrant families, families from various faiths or none. This policy hurts and affects all corners of our society. And let's not forget the most important reason of all for why we are here fighting. The kids. They, and their education is Number 1. Their educational and emotional wellbeing should not be compromised for any outside groups who wish to use our schools for their own means. Schools are places for education. We wish you all the very best for the beginning of the school year and would like to leave you with the theme song for the "Care for Kids" campaign, which appeared on Australian TV for the International Year of the Child in 1979. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsmKIHfkYvA ... See MoreSee Less

This is the original jingle for Care For Kids from 1979 that came with a big campaign and animated cartoon. Jingles like this still set the benchmark for us ...

4 days ago

Lara WoodMany thanks for Louise Dylan for the link to this.4 days ago

Alison CourticeI remember it well. Sums up why we are passionate about getting RI and religious chaplains out of our state schools. Nothing at all in that song about making deciples of Jesus or Allah or any other God. In fact the opposite. Open their minds not close them.3 days ago

Fairness In Religions In SchoolYou can see the actual TV commercial for the song at the 3.20 min mark of this clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytU9vT2IHBY3 days ago

Tom RottllerI remember that jingle and it brought a tear to my eye when watching it again as now I think on my precious "little one".4 hours ago

Fairness In Religions In School

Below is FIRIS' submission to the Sth Aust Royal Commission on Child Protection Systems. Fantastic work from Tracey Hutt, and her SA team. "As parents and carers we are deeply concerned by the current blurring of boundaries occurring in the delivery of all religious activities in public schools, but are writing to you to highlight specific risks relating to the operation of the National School Chaplaincy Program in SA." ... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Alison CourticeExcellent submission FIRIS SA.4 days ago

Julia EmIt's obvious that an awful lot of work has gone into researching the interweaving elements related to this matter and producing a coherent submission. Here's hoping that the response is commensurate with your efforts. I also hope that you now have time to put your feet up for at least a little while. Gotta be rested for the next round! ;-)4 days ago

Fairness In Religions In SchoolThanks Julia Em - we have people within FIRIS who work in the public health bureaucracy in the area of risk management who assist.4 days ago

Fairness In Religions In School

This is how SRE groups recruit their volunteers ... by telling them they will literally "shape the world". And that they will "shape these young lives for eternity every week!" "Over 74% of Christians put their faith in Jesus before the age of 20. NSW legislation enables all children enrolled in state schools to be taught about their religion. Christians are welcome to teach children enrolled in Christian SRE about their faith. That’s an opportunity to...Shape the World Currently, 20% of Sydney residents are under 15. That’s over 800,000 kids! In NSW, legislation is in place that enables people from recognised religious groups to go into schools each week to teach about their religion. This means that Christians are welcome to teach the good news about Jesus to all the children in State schools who are enrolled for Christian SRE. Many of the kids are from non-churched backgrounds. SRE is often the only place they get to hear about God, Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. They also get to know a Christian who cares for them and is concerned with their eternal well-being. SRE teachers get to shape these young lives for eternity every week!" BUT ... As cautioned in one of their curriculum catalogues for 2015, this flyer IS NOT intended for the eyes of parents. (see pic below) Shape the world— one class at a time Promotes the fantastic ministry that is SRE. Designed to recruit new teachers. IT IS NOT intended to be given to parents. Of course - parents are meant to think its all about education and values - not converting their children to be disciples for Jesus. ... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Melissa BriscoeScary!4 days ago

Matthew Busby AndrewsSorry, why is that scary?4 days ago

Fairness In Religions In SchoolBecause, Matthew Busby Andrews, parents are being fraudulently misled into giving their children over to conversion?4 days ago

Anne-maria PlevierGag.4 days ago

Harry GordonIt seems the Victorian disciple brigade have gone into stealth mode. I wonder why?4 days ago

Kay ClarkeAwful. Horrible. And so deceitful. "Shape these young lives for eternity," convert, get into their minds........ "Shape the World" BUT don't tell the parents we are getting into the minds of their kids!!4 days ago

Lynette JoyYum, kids!4 days ago

Walter LekamgeBest age to brainwash anyone is when they are vulnerable at a very young age. Almost impossible to escape thereafter. They know that and exploit it to the maximum.3 days ago

Robert McLeanThe copywriters the Christians use are rather good at selling a poo. "Shape the World", like much of the Christian propaganda, means nothing but sounds impressive. They urge applicants to be "creative", that is make it up as you go along.3 days ago

Fred PilcherA national disgrace.3 days ago