Chaplaincy and religious education in state schools

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:32 pm
WhatsHisName wrote:Wonderful, another thread about how horrible religion/christians/the Bible is. I really wish this forum would ban threads about religious topics, they never end well.


Yes Traveller, go sit at the back of the classroom and don't you dare do any school work.

I thought this is was the purpose of Sunday School, if parents wanted their kids to have a Christian religious education they would take them to Sunday School.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:28 pm
At my school us teachers are told the opposite to "don't do any work". We are not allowed to have the children playing games, etc and are expected to have them completing something. Granted that task is usually fairly basic and separate from the usual classroom curriculum. I also only have 4 children (out of 23) whose parents opted out. A few classes in the school have less than me. It seems most parents are happy for their kids to be involved as opting out is as simple as not paying the $5-ish fee when completing the fees at the star of the year.

I sit through them all and honestly have no problem with the content being taught and it is hardly a preaching bible thumping curriculum. The kids made Easter chickens today and had a 5 minute story on Jesus rising from the dead.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:34 pm
VMars wrote:The kids made Easter chickens today and had a 5 minute story on Jesus rising from the dead.

I'm sure that must have contributed mightily to their understanding of religion. :roll:
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:29 am
I would probably not make a good teacher in one of these classes. i'd probably be too inclined to play "Jesus Was Way Cool" by King Missile to the students and then wear all sorts of complaints from traditionalist Christian parents about sacrilege.

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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 2:33 pm
A review of the entanglement of Access Ministries with government schools is becoming a possibility. Both federal and state governments are at last cottoning on to the fact that Access Ministries is in it purely for the opportunity to proselytise. Its CEO, Evonne Paddison, is on record for saying at the 2008 Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion national conference in Melbourne: "In Australia, we have a God-given open door to children and young people with the Gospel, our federal and state governments allow us to take the Christian faith into our schools and share it. We need to go and make disciples." In case that wasn't clear enough, she added: "What really matters is seizing the God-given opportunity we have to reach kids in schools."

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (attrib.)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:49 am
There is a major push against the government funding school chaplains.

My understanding is that schools generally do not employ social workers or psychologists to give emotional support to students and families. School counsellors generally are not oriented that way either. The term chaplain is used because counsellor cannot be used, as it would be confused with the official school counsellor. In Qld schools there are social workers and psychologists filling the role of chaplain in some schools. The role is not a religious role, but one of emotional support, and most principals are happy with the job being done. There is an atheist school chaplain in Qld.

It also happens, that as in most cases where the government will not fund welfare, religious groups are funding the role of school chaplain.

It appears to be the term that is the problem, not the position, and the fact that chaplains are funded by religious organisations. But then so are most of our women's refuges, homeless accommodation, and food outlets for the low income families.

So, change the title ..... take the funding and control out of the hands of religious groups .... but don't put in jeopardy a most important program supporting children and families.

And before someone jumps on me, I am sure there are people out there who abuse their positions wherever they are for their own agenda.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:09 pm
Servalon wrote:It appears to be the term that is the problem, not the position, and the fact that chaplains are funded by religious organisations.

In Victoria the problem is precisely that councelling - in the guise of 'religious education' - has been placed in the hands of an organisation called Access Ministries, who see their privileged position as councellors as a God given right to proselytise and evangelise. Access Ministries' CEO, Evonne Paddison made that crystal clear in a speech she gave to her underlings, thoughshe lied about that in a later interview. In the latest Commonwealth budget Julia Gillard dedicated 220 million dollars for a similar scheme on a national level. Surely, if the government allocates this much money, it has the call on just who does the councelling and guidance generally. Committed proselytisers and evangelisers do not seem to me to be the right kind of personnel.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:17 pm
Yes, that can be a major problem. There are those who will try to use it for proselytising, which is not the purpose. Another problem in the public schools is that religious education is a misnomer. It is not education about religions in general. Again, it is about teaching a specific religion, be it Christianity (whatever variety), Islam, Judaism, or whatever.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:11 am
The main difference between chaplains and school counsellors is training. I wouldn't want someone without any training in psychology counselling children. They already have Rainbow Room programs in schools over here in WA where kids can go if they are grieving and some schools have woodwork and sports programs for primary kids so they can work off their pent up anger in a more productive way. Chaplains should still be called chaplains and not counsellors because they aren't expected to have training in counselling (just as "financial planners" aren't accountants (although some pretend to be)).
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:08 pm
2kidznus wrote:Chaplains should still be called chaplains and not counsellors because they aren't expected to have training in counselling (just as "financial planners" aren't accountants (although some pretend to be)).



To my knowledge, in Qld, all Chaplains are required to have professional training in counselling. In emergency services and sport, people cannot act as chaplains without training, and in many cases experience, in crisis intervention, trauma response, grief counselling, and of course in interrelational skills.
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