‘Tis the season for SRI instructors to chastise FIRIS.

We might as well get this out of the way.

The latest manifestation of this is Mandy Bowes.  Who writes in to ask us what we’re scared about!



We’re going to have a lot of this kind of thing going on, and everyone better get prepared for it.  A few ground rules.

Mandy, assuming that you are part of the SRI system, you should be ashamed of yourself.

For years parents have been lied to, because you feel like showing up in a room full of our children, with your bag of lollies on what ACCESS Ministries calls a “mission in your own back yard”.  What is especially upsetting is how presumptuous you are in the lives our families and your desire to do our job as parents.  Shame, shame on you.

We are not happy that SRI still “must” be offered if you present yourself at our school and demand to “offer SRI”, but the whole charade you are playing here is that you want to transform yourself into “an accredited SRI provider” in our school, just because you showed up with 6 hours of instruction.

Set aside for a moment the staggering lack of professionalism that it shows to suspend anything like teaching standards, so that you and other so called “well meaning” people can teach religion to our kids, on top of this nonsense, you lie about it.

The forms that you’ve been giving to parents, were first “opt out”, that is to say that to avoid you at all, we had to tell our school to please have our child sat out in the hall while you came in and related whatever version of religion you felt like, out of books that were sold to us by telling us that the lessons were approved.

We later learned that these lessons were never reviewed by the department of education, and were not at all what you claim them to be.

We were then told that the lessons would be “opt in”, of course that’s not true either, we still have to say “no thank you” in order to “advise the school” that we don’t want to attend your “classes”.

Then there is the whole issue of the fact that you still won’t tell us why you can’t or won’t trust us to bring our kids to your programme after school or heaven forbid on Sunday?

SRI has no place in a school.  Don’t get us wrong.  We’re not sad, we’re mad.  We’re mad AT you.

Shame on you.  If you have kids, then I think it isn’t hard to imagine why we’d expect them to be given a quality education and not handed over to you to have instruction in something that most people feel would be impolite talk about with a total stranger.  If you want to make us happy, then offer your programs during a time when we don’t have to opt out, in order to avoid you.

You don’t think that is fair do you, because you don’t really want a voluntary system, where people:

A:  Know what they are getting

B:  Are genuinely signing up because they are interested.

What you want is for parents to put their kids into SRI because they are told, by the school, that its “suggested”.

You should be ashamed.