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Maharey should scrap religion guideline

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

24 August 2006

Maharey should scrap religion guideline

The Education Minister should scrap his silly guideline on religious instruction in schools, says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

He is commenting on a Ministry of Education proposal that would see the guidelines on religious instruction change to an opt-in requirement, rather than opt-out as is the current rule.

Mr English says the change is unnecessary as there's no problem to fix.

"Boards of Trustees should use their judgement, as they always have, to determine what's best for their students, and parents should be listened to if they believe there is any coercion.

"Rules that might allow for Maori prayers but not Christian prayers are ridiculous.

"The opt-in provision is impractical because it will require yet more permission slips that many families won't return.

"Parents who worry about a prayer at assembly are overlooking the fact that children often hear, or take part in, karakia and religious waiata - neither of which cause any harm.

"Labour should let people decide for themselves what they are comfortable with and drop this nit-picking, busybody attempt to tell them what to do," says Mr English.


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