On March 27th 2011 Age reporter Michael Bachelard wrote a compelling piece that appeared on the front page of The Sunday Age both in print and online. View it here. It was titled ‘Backlash as God forced into schools’.
Our website was promoted on this article and following its publication we were inundated with page views as well as emails. On top of this the Humanist Society of Victoria’s website actually crashed due to the huge number of people trying to access it.
From what we have been made aware there has been more than 90,000 views of the Age article and hundreds of tweets and other social media shares.
Among the many emails of support, some of the comments appearing again and again have been stories of children and parents being pressured to attend CRE, children being bullied who do not attend, parents having little to no idea about what is actually being taught to their children in this half hour time and schools making up variations of the rules because the direction from the Education Department is left wanting. Some schools have opt-in and some opt-out. Some schools offer CRE outside school hours and most offer during. Some schools reject the offer of CRE and some feel they have no choice.
The situation is in disarray and parents are left to contact us in desperation, asking what can be done in their schools to stop this discriminatory setup.
A few things we would point out is that it would be useful to conduct a survey of the schools parents to garner their views and understanding of the current setup and what they might want changed.
You could address your school council and push for opt-in rather than opt-out.
You could ask for CRE to be moved outside of school hours so the actual teachers can get on with educating the children.
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