Sydney Anglican Diocese authorised scripture material that includes dissecting a dead animal
30 Jan 2017, 9 p.m.
NO one can officially say if a scripture teacher has ever walked into a NSW primary school class with a dead animal and proceeded to dissect it.
He or she could have, by following the authorised Sydney Anglican Diocese scripture material known as Connect which includes the dissection of a dead animal in a lesson about animal sacrifice. The lesson fits within a framework that requires scripture teachers to tell children that the Bible – both Old and New Testaments – is a “factual, historical document” and all events within it are “historical and true”.
The Queensland Department of Education reviewed the Connect material in August after complaints from parents to a principal about what their children were being told in scripture classes where Connect material was used. It is favoured by evangelical Christian groups with connections to the Sydney Anglican diocese.
One of the most disturbing parts of the Queensland review is the lack of government knowledge about too much relating to special religious education in schools – how many children are taught, what they’re taught and who’s teaching them. What is also disturbing is the lack of knowledge about scripture demonstrated by principals, parents and teachers. The situation is the same in NSW.
The Queensland review only occurred after the school principal suspended scripture when he inspected the Connect material and discovered it was not approved by the Department of Education, because legislation prevents it.
Again, the situation is the same in NSW, where the NSW Government paid $300,000 for its own review in 2015, only to sit on it for the past year.
There are serious concerns about scripture in NSW schools, not least the NSW Government’s apparent favoured treatment of church groups and unwillingness to allow public debate about whether the long tradition of religious classes in state school class time should end.
In Victoria, in response to community action, scripture is conducted outside school hours. In NSW the government appears to want to make decisions about scripture in secret, and in response to a report paid for by taxpayers, and tell the community later. Mike Baird paid the price for that approach.
It might have taken dead animal dissecting to shine a little light on the subject.