I am writing to thank you for your courage and determination to make a difference in this world and to make you aware of what occurred at my son’s school today. Apparently parents were advised along with all the other information that parents receive about the new “op-out” policy but it appears that I neglected to send the necessary note advising that my son would not be attending religious education (although I cannot be sure of this as I do not recall and I have a reputation with the school as a parent who always responds to anything on the following day. Nevertheless unbeknown to me today was the first day of religious class at his school.
He was forced to attend the religious class along with all the other children who had not provided a note from their parents to the contrary. They were forced to attend even though most of the children said that they did not attend RE classes. My son has been at the school for 5 years and has never attended RE classes and neither did my elder son who had been there for 6 years previously. My son’s school has 80 students and most of the teachers know which students attend RE classes and which ones do not, but because of this “op-out” requirement they felt compelled to force them to attend. Something which I find totally unacceptle and lacking in respect for another person’s beliefs. I do not blame the teachers in any way but the system which allows this to happen.
I have this night written to the Principal asking for an explanation as to why the school has chosen to treat this issue differently from any other activity that requires parental consent. With any other activity any parent that fails to provide consent and in all cases it is because they have forgotten, the school then contacts them to gain their verbal consent before the child is permitted to participate in the activity. My question to the Principal was “Why is that as a common courtesy in the very least, bearing in the mind the delicacy of this issue, that parents were not contacted for a verbal response as is the case with other activities”
Name provided but withheld for privacy