• 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

Dawn Penney has ushered in a new era of glasnost at ACCESS Ministries. That’s right – the acting CEO is no longer on the back foot when it comes to dealing with criticism. Recently she made a statement about how they handled the Biblezine scandal.“After an internal investigation, ACCESS ministries undertook disciplinary action in this instance and the individual’s volunteer status has been revoked” have to feel a bit sorry for the volunteer who got hung out to dry. Especially when you consider that the Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) report into the same incident found evidence of systemic problems in the delivery of SRI at Torquay College.As a direct consequence of the findings, PWC made three separate recommendations to strengthen the funding agreement between the private SRI provider and the state government.It’s mighty convenient for Dawn Penney to ignore the problems identified by the PWC report and blame the volunteer. We’re all for accountability but, if the problem is actually a systemic failure in the regulation of SRI, how culpable was that volunteer?And there is a twist in this tale. Dawn Penney has seen fit to boot out the volunteer for handing out a Biblezine called ‘Refuel 2’. That volunteer was only authorized to distribute ‘The SURFERS BIBLE’.However FIRIS considers ‘The SURFERS BIBLE’ to be just as inappropriate, if not more, for distribution to Grade 6 students. The reason for this is because it has the same strong missionary focus as Biblezine and it comes complete with an entire ministry. * We wrote to Dawn Penney on 15th & 23rd June about the SURFERS BIBLE - no answer was ever received. (see our letter below containing full details of the SURFERS BIBLE)So the upshot is, Dawn Penney’s actions are calculated to deflect attention from the PWC report. She got rid of the volunteer but did offer any reflection on whether it is appropriate for an SRI provider to be in the business of handing out bibles provided by third parties.Talk about lamb to the slaughter.LETTER FROM FIRIS TO ACCESS ABOUT SURFERS BIBLE No response received.Dear Ms Penney,I would like to bring your attention to the email below, sent on 15th June, of which we have not received a reply.We feel that this matter is very serious and requires a response from your organisation.The matter is serious because of the nature of the content contained in the Surfers Bible. Not only does it violate your code of conduct and volunteer agreement, but it sets out to groom and recruit children to become disciples for Jesus Christ.It also clearly tells the reader to become a Christian.Some of the content in the Surfers Bible is as follows: It is not enough to know about these principles, you need to act on them. The bridge is there, it's free but it's not cheap. It's the only one, no making up your own way. (John 14:6). You have a choice of two ways, no in-betweens. Your choices are:- Accept Jesus, allow him to pay your penalty, be forgiven, follow him as the leader of your life and he will stick with you forever. Jesus promises you will escape his judgement and make it to heaven.Reject Jesus, pay your own penalty, remain unforgiven, follow your own way and the ways of the world. Jesus promises you will have to stand before God and will suffer his judgement and hell itself.SO NOW WHAT? If you are serious about turning to God and living his way you have to take some big steps.1 Admit to God that you've blown it, regardless of how ‘good' you think you've been compared to others.2 Trust. Jesus died so that you could live, believe him for that. He came back to life to prove it! Go all out and ask for his forgiveness.3 Change. It is a big surrender to let God be GOD of your life. Stop doing things he doesn't want, and start doing things he does want. This is true repentance.4 Follow Jesus. This involves all aspects of life and for the rest of your life. It is a life long adventure with God shaping you his way.You can start by talking to God about all this. Maybe a prayer like this expresses the way you feel:“... Jesus, I'm sorry for running my own life and rebelling against you. I'm sorry for the hurt I've brought to myself, others and you. I need the forgiveness that you paid for on the cross. Jesus save me. I give you my life, messed up as it is. I commit myself to follow you. But I can't go it alone. Come into my life and help me to become the person you want me to be. Thank you for your promise to hear all who call on you.”BECOMING A CHRISTIAN IS JUST THE BIRTH NOW COMES A LIFETIME OF GROWTH!Under QUIT FIGHTING! There is nothing we can offer in exchange for it...except to stop our rebellion and give our lives back to God. To do this you need to become a Christian.Under HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN We are Sinful Sin has a penalty Just as criminals must pay the penalty for their crimes, sinners must pay the penalty for their sins. If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death. You will not only die physically, you will also be separated from our holy God for all eternity. The Bible teaches that those who choose to remain separated from God will spend eternity in a place called Hell.Under FOUR STEPS TO RECEIVING JESUS There is a plaque for kids to fill out with the date and place of when they gave their lives to Jesus. Admit Believe Commit FollowIf the Price Waterhouse Coopers report into the Biblezine incident was incorrect, and the Surfers Bible has never been given out to students at Torquay College, please advise.Otherwise, we would appreciate a response to our email of 15th June.Yours Sincerely,Lara Wood Campaign Coordinator ... See MoreSee Less

1 hour ago

Jayel WalunoGood grief, that's not a 'carrot and stick' approach, it's more like a 'saccharine and sledgehammer' method - that would probably terrify some kids!27 minutes ago