Bible in Schools campaigner to appeal strike off of case

Bible in Schools campaigner Jeff McClintock has gone to the  Court of Appeal about the decision to strike out of his case.

He took the board of Red Beach School on the Hibiscus Coast to court because he alleged the school’s Bible in Schools classes showed disrespect for his daughter’s rights to freedom of religion.

The High Court case was struck off because submissions were not filed on time.

Last Monday The court ordered McClintock to file his submissions by the next morning, but he said the documents didn’t arrive in time.

2 other campaigners had been given permission to join the case as interested non-parties and present limited evidence and submissions.

This had delayed submissions, but it was still unfair to throw out the case, Mr McClintock said.

“I was initially very angry, mostly because it wasn’t the opposition beating me but me beating myself,” he said.

“Since the case was never heard no precedent had been set about Bible lessons in classes.”

This meant the case could still be heard if the appeal was successful or a new case was lodged.

“It is frustrating waiting this long but we are prepared to wait longer because there are so many parents affected.”

The Human Rights Commission and the Churches Education Commission (CEC) were also involved in the case.

A CEC spokesman said they were passionate about continuing Bible classes in state schools.

“There is real depth to this debate and a lot of the key issues have not yet been addressed.”

CEC teaches Bible lessons in more than 650 public schools, making it the largest provider in the country.

The cancelled hearing had been set down for April 26 at the High Court at Auckland.


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