FIRIS CLAIMS VICTORY!
August 21, 2015

Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino has announced that Special Religious Instruction (SRI) will be removed from school hours in 2016. SRI will be taken out of class-time and treated as an elective.

Instead, children in Victorian public schools will be taught about the major religions which make up our multicultural community, together with secular humanism and ethics – by class teachers as part of the official curriculum.

This is the prize we have been working for since FIRIS formed in 2011. And today the dream is a reality! FIRIS is grateful to the thousands of parent supporters. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!

AIMS OF FIRIS

  • Maintain an inclusive school curriculum that does not require any student to withdraw from class on account of different religious beliefs, or none.
  • Formally cease the practice of volunteer-run Religious Instruction (SRI/SRE) 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.  

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The main discussion between supporters is on our Facebook Page. Read the recent discussions and remember to LIKE us!

Fairness In Religions In School

Dr David Zyngier, senior Lecturer in education and pedagogy at Monash University, writes to the Australian Jewish News about the SRI changes and how it affects UJEB. UJEB is the Jewish Religious Instruction provider in VIC. ... See MoreSee Less

8 hours ago

Tanjil WrightWhy does this sound like an open slather?8 hours ago

Fairness In Religions In School

RICE CATALYST "Our vision - to empower high school students" "To reach out to all the potential harvest" This is not a student driven club. This is being driven by outsiders who are not students of the schools. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL4eTGqQDDs Again we ask ... how does the DEC hope to control this? ... See MoreSee Less

Child Evangelism in NSW public schools. Teaching students how to proselytise to their friends when at school.

21 hours ago

Andrew Lack"there is something quite obscene about children regurgitating adult agendas". Out of interest would this not describe all teaching at all schools?14 hours ago

Fairness In Religions In School

It's easy to see why, from watching this video, how next to impossible it's going to be for the government to monitor and control the hundreds of Religious clubs operating in NSW schools. Students are free to do and say as they please in these clubs, which exist to evangelise and preach the gospel within the school grounds. Students are encouraged to invite their friends along. How can schools be expected to guarantee there is no proselytizing or ensure every student involved has parental consent? We can't help but feel that these new Dept regulations will simply be impossible to implement and enforce. Here is a student from Tempe HS describing some of the activities at his school. This is a typical example. Check out some of the other videos on the RICE SCHOOLS page to see for yourself. ... See MoreSee Less

RICE Schools // Not all Christian lunchtime groups are the same! We love hearing about all the different initiatives and this week we have Damien from Tempe! #RICESchools

1 day ago

RICE Schools //

Not all Christian lunchtime groups are the same! We love hearing about all the different initiatives and this week we have Damien from Tempe!

#RICESchools

Kimmers SingIs the solution to remove religious clubs operating in NSW schools?1 day ago

Lisel ThomasThis is where I start to struggle. These are high school students - nearly adults - leading these activities themselves in their own time (albeit at school). Schools have feminist clubs, LGBTI groups, computer gaming clubs, and more, that operate in a similar way. For me, the distinction is whether or not there are outsiders coming into the school. It feels to me like religious persecution if it's only the student-led religious groups that are not allowed while other student-led groups are considered to be okay.1 day ago

Kay ClarkeSchools are meant to be a secular space where there should be no place for any religious activity of any kind for any religion.24 hours ago

Lindie ReadAs you can see SRI/E may end in some schools but some religious groups wanting to exploit state schools with an obvious evangelical agenda will find a way. Youth Alive seems to be a draw card advertised and promoted by evangelists in some state schools here in Tassie. I doubt many parents or staff are always aware of what some groups are really up to.24 hours ago

Suzanne RoheadI grew up in catholic Ireland, where religion is in the fricking constitution, atheists are seen as satan incarnate and pretty much every school is a catholic school (thankfully that is slowly changing as people of my generation realise the damage the church has done and are rejecting it in droves) but when I was in school videos like the above would have been laughed out of the building and any student who suggested wasting precious lunch time on prayer groups to 'spend time with God' would have been laughed out with them. Religion was rarely discussed outside of the compulsory religion classes and there was little to no proselytizing because the vast majority of people were catholic (social catholics anyway). Fast forward 20 years to supposedly secular Australia and it's bizarre to see the lengths the different sects to get their hooks into other peoples kids. 😕23 hours ago

Phillipa ToiaGood grief, I've seen more ethnic representation from these Christian infomercials than I have mainstream Australia media. Sorry I know this has nothing to do with this, but I've been discussing lack of ethnic and indigenous representation in our media on another page.23 hours ago

Fairness In Religions In SchoolThe debate about the nature of NSW public schools needs to be had. The Controversial Issues in Schools Policy does not allow students to form political groups along 'partisan' lines. The Department does not include religious groups as being included in the definition of 'partisan groups'. The CIS Pol does make it clear that schools are not to be used by any group 'political or otherwise' to advance their cause. When it was pointed out to the Department that SUNSW states that its fundamental mission is to convert all people to Christ and to teach them to obey him the Department justified their presence in NSW public schools based on their historical presence. It was also pointed out to the Department that SUNSW stated on its website that it supports "high school students to take the gospel to their school community" but it now seems this statement has been removed. The Department's response were amendments to the Religious Education Implementation Procedures including the condition that these groups could not engage in proselytising activities but it has not provided any guidance to principals about what such activities look like in a public school.22 hours ago

Fairness In Religions In SchoolJust so we are perfectly clear, here is the promotional video for RICE, explaining how this organisation will train, encourage and lead students in NSW to evangelise in their schools. To "reach out to all the potential harvest" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL4eTGqQDDs21 hours ago

Fairness In Religions In School19 hours ago

Robert McLeanThis is a bit like zombies getting into schools programmed to turn more students into zombies, just like the perpetrators and it's all sanctioned by the authorities. This is getting severely out of hand.18 hours ago

Stephen PearceThey don't hide the evangelical motivation or goal (in the pic attached)18 hours ago

Andrew Francis OliverAs Aretha Franklin sang, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. ... Those of differing opinion and diverse faiths should respect each other, learn to respect each other, learn to be couth and polite and not ram religion or politics down each other's throats ... It's about Live And Let Live ... Respect ... Basic Politeness ... By secondary school, students will be able to begin to tell fact from fiction ... Truth from error ... John Stuart Mill has something to say about liberty and the marketplace of ideas and the freedom of speech helping to promote truth and discredit error ... Let the religious be free to attend Sunday School on Sunday mornings, out of school hours. Government funded schools should be a place for everybody, where a sense of community grows, a sense of the fair go, and liberty equality and fraternity recognised as a value system, amongst various diverse values systems debated in moral education, in senior English classes, perhaps in the context of essay writing about great works of literature ...11 hours ago