Human Rights Commission looks to court on Bible in Schools

The Human Rights Commission and members of the Secular Education Network have applied to join court action against religion in state schools.

A case is being taken by Jeff McClintock against Red Beach School.

He laid a complaint with the commission several years ago after his daughter was put in a corner when she opted out of the teaching of Bible stories, which happens for 30 minutes a week.

He is also fighting against laws that permit the Bibles in Schools programme, which operates in more than 600 state primary schools.

Mr McClintock’s case is scheduled to come to court on April 26.

Applications from the commission and network campaigners David Hines and Tanya Jacob to join Mr McClintock’s action will be heard in the High Court in Auckland on April 6.

According to Mr Hines, Red Beach School has objected to them joining Mr McClintock’s case.

The Churches Education Commission, which runs Bible in Schools classes, can call limited evidence.

In a statement, the network members said they want the case extended to include secondary schools, evangelistic youth workers and religious songs and prayers in school assemblies.

They also want to call evidence from members of non-Christian religions.

A Give-a-Little page set up by Mr Hines and Ms Jacob to support their action had raised $6070, as of March 21.

The pages stated tens of thousands of dollars needed to be raised.

The page also noted that the Human Rights Commission has set up a mediation between the Secular Education Network and the Ministry of Education.

“That negotiation is continuing and could lead to new guidelines to schools to reduce religious discrimination,” the page noted.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , , ,