Bible classes fight goes on, despite setback
NewsHub 15 October 2016
A new case against Bible classes in schools has been lodged with the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
It comes the same week Auckland father Jeff McClintock’s case against Red Beach School over its Bible classes was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
The school made his daughter attend Bible classes against his wishes. The school is reportedly now seeking $24,000 in costs from Mr McClintock, but declined to speak to Newshub when contacted on Friday.
That case was backed by the Secular Education Network, which is now raising funds to launch another challenge.
“While McClintock’s case was directed against a single school and a narrow piece of law, [the Secular Education Network is] challenging four pieces of legislation, which each open the door to religious and ethical discrimination in state schools,” the group told Newshub.
In particular, it’s focusing on:
- Section 77 of the Education Act 1964, which “fails to protect against discrimination in high schools, and fails to address evangelism outside the classroom such as in school camps”
- Section 7 of the Education Act 1989, which “opens the door to discrimination in the school’s own teaching by leaving individual schools free to be biased without giving the Ministry of Education any power to stop it”
- Section 25A of the Education Act 1989, which “protects the right of children aged 16 or more to opt out of tuition which goes against their religious beliefs, but fails to give comparable protection to children under 16”
- Sections 78 and 79 of the Education Act 1964, which lets “volunteers to run Christian-biased programmes including Bible lessons and religious assemblies with inadequate protection for children of other religions or no-religion, leading to bullying and misinformation”.
The case was lodged with the Human Rights Review Tribunal on Wednesday. They hope to have it fast-tracked to the High Court.
READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/bible-classes-fight-goes-on-despite-setback-2016101511