Should motivational speaker who is also a Christian preacher be allowed in schools?

Tony Kane, the principal of Kapiti College north of Wellington is defending the school’s decision to allow a motivation a speaker,  who happens to be Christian preacher, to give a presentation in his school.

He was speaking after some parents had expressed concern that  an American Christian preacher Reggie Dabbs gave a motivational speech at Kapiti College.

Kane said the speech was motivational, and he was given “absolute restrictions” not to preach.

Dabbs spoke to about 280 year 9 and 10 pupils on Thursday as part of a  New Zealand tour.

He also spoke at  Wellington College and Rongotai College.

At the end of his speech, flyers advertising Arise Church’s Impact convention at Wellington’s Opera House on Friday night were made available.

Kane said he was “not uncomfortable” with the flyers.

“I understand that people could see it as stealth evangelism, and I think if the words Arise Church were not on the flyer, that would be completely fair comment.”

Lisa Rodgers, Ministry of Education head of early learning and student achievement, said Kane had done the right thing putting restrictions on Dabbs.

“It’s unfortunate if the speaker took advantage of the situation by distributing flyers for his Church,” she said.

Teaching in state schools was required to be secular but Boards of Trustees can close a class or the school for up to 20 hours a year to offer religious instruction for students to participate in on a voluntary basis.

In May, Dabbs was criticised for delivering motivational speeches at Victorian state schools, incensing parents who said his presentation was deceptive and went against the ideals of a secular education.


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News category: New Zealand.

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