requesting that she be idetified only as “Georgie” – the former CRE INSTRUCTOR WRITES:

I support this cause.

I was a CRE teacher until the end of 2010 when I resigned from Access because of unfair treatment from the paid Access staff,with no grievance procedure for me to follow.

False claims were made against me ,also not addressed through any proper process and I am still waiting for justice .  I could not continue to volunteer for a supposed “Christian” organization that does not practise Christian values.

Access is autonomous-it is not accountable to anyone!

This is since 2006 when the board structure was changed.  Before this it was CCES-Council for Christian Education in Schools and was accountable to the Victorian Council of Churches.

Not many people are aware of this-particularly School Principals and supporting churches who just think Access is the same as CCES.

THe curriculum has been changed and is now “fundamental” in content, with very basic cartoon-style illustrations that I believe dishonour the people and stories portrayed.

CRE teacher training has been reduced to about 4 hours.  There are at least three clergy who have resigned as teachers because of concerns with the content.

I raised some concerns about the material given to students but was not responded to for 4 months and then the issue was not addressed.

One concern was about the story of Jesus turning water into wine,presented as an example of Jesus caring for his friends-by giving them alcohol-this was for grade 1 and 2, with the teacher notes suggesting you could say if you were at a party and the wine ran out people might go home !   not a responsible message when we have such a problem with alcohol in our society.  The only response from Access was that this story was used to show that Jesus is powerful.

There are more examples I could give.

It is quite frightening that this organization is the main provider of Special religious education in Victoria and the only accredited provider of Christian religious education with a theological position that is fundamental.  So even the Christian viewpoint is biased.

I believe there should be a religious studies programme in State schools teaching about many of the world religions and taught by trained teachers as I do believe it is very important to learn about the religious beliefs and traditions in order to encourage and nurture understanding , tolerance and delight in the diversity.  All the main religions share the basic Golden Rule-do unto others what you would have them do to you or expressed as don’t do to another that which you would not like done to you.

I do believe that such a programme could be begun in Grade 1 with learning about the different festivals, progressing to stories from sacred texts and history of the different faiths.

In the schools in which I taught children not doimg CRE were sat in another part of the room or in the computer space between classrooms.  I am sorry that I didn’t think to ask could there be another way for them, though the classroom teachers were very caring of them.  I am sorry that I hadn’t thought about the segrating effect of the students doing?not doing CRE – it is such an important issue.