Read the report that is causing chaos in NSW parachurch ministry in schools!
FIRIS recently released a report detailing the nature of the curriculum promoted by Generate Ministries and YouthWorks, who provide the majority of Special Religious Education (SRE).
Axing this curriculum in response to the FIRIS report, is like amputating a gangrenous appendage, in hope of saving the body.
The problem with this strategy is that the material being “axed” is not an appendage, it clearly reflects the core teachings and ideology of both Generate and Youthworks, which are set up to proselytise with “government endorsement”.
You: an introduction is core teaching of the Sydney Evangelical faith, and it is written by the movement’s most educated thinker: Dr Michael Jensen, son of the former Archbishop and leading Moore College Scholar. Even Jensen himself says “A lot of the things mentioned in there are just orthodox Christian teachings”.
Rather than defend the curriculum and its place in public schools, the para-church strategy is to announce that it will no longer use it!
Ironically, when the Department took steps to suspend these same materials, due to concerns for student’s welfare, it resulted in a hysterical response from the Evangelical community, drawing comparisons to North Korea!
Now that FIRIS has released irrefutable documentation of the nature of this curriculum, the para-church groups have seen that accusing the Department of being “North Korea” isn’t going to work, so they have tried to conduct a controlled burn.
This report is long and detailed but it is vital for the public to understand that the Para-church groups using NSW schools are NOT able to shut down public analysis of these materials by claiming that they will no longer use them!
The report concludes the texts are divisive, promote gender inequality and discrimination towards same-sex attracted and gender diverse students, students with a disability, chronic or terminal illness, and those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD).
And it finds that these texts have no place in Australian government schools and promote messages contrary to NSW Department of Education policies and educational best practices.
The report has been reviewed by senior professionals across the issues examined, including:
- Georgie Harman, CEO, beyondblue
- Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Managing Director Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, child and adolescent psychologist
- Professor Marion Maddox, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University
- Fiona McCormack, CEO, Domestic Violence Victoria
- Dr Cathy Byrne, religion sociologist, Southern Cross University
- Justin Koonin, convenor, NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
- Sally Goldner, Executive Director, Transgender Victoria
- Daniel Witthaus, CEO, National Institute for Challenging Homophobia in Education (NICHE)
- Dr David Zyngier, Senior Lecturer, Department of Education, Monash University
- Dr Naomi Priest, Fellow, ANU
This discussion WILL continue, both in the public sphere and with the Department.
Read the entire report here: