SRE Targeted In NSW

In recent times, it has become apparent that groups on the Left have an agenda. They have an end goal to their madness. Political correctness, issues surrounding gender, race, climate change, border security, etc. all just play a small part in an even bigger game. There is however an end goal to all this. The endgame of the Left is to destroy Western civilisation. The West is the enemy of the Left. Its values, ideologies, views, and the like all generally deter those of the Left. In fact, it’s not really Left vs Right anymore. It’s now globalists vs nationalists. But that’s for another article. What is predictable however is that those who oppose the West will do whatever they can to damage and destroy its pillars in order to bring the entire structure crashing down. One of those key pillars is the Church, the religion of Catholicism/Christianity.

The latest attack on Christianity comes at the hands of a group known as the NSW Teachers Federation. It comes as no surprise that the Federation is the ‘registered trade union which covers NSW public school teachers’. It’s essentially just another union, and as is common knowledge, the vast majority of unions are generally in opposition to the West. They generally fall to the Left of the political spectrum. Moreover the individuals within the unions, generally those who are in positions of power, are of the Left. Looking at the ethics of the NSW Teachers Federation, it is clear that this is a group that would likely be easily offended. For example, ethics code 9 states that ‘No member should, in the hearing of other members or of students, criticise the work of other members.’ So criticism is generally frowned upon. Ethics code 7 states ‘Members should zealously guard civil liberties and support colleagues in defending those rights.’ It would be interesting to see what exactly they define as ‘civil liberties’. Does this include Free Speech? And in Ethics code 12, it is stated that ‘Members shall not engage in any form of racist behaviour, comments and dissemination of racist material.’ What would this group define as racist? Would material that denigrates males, particularly of white ethnicity, for having privilege as a resultant of their gender and/or ethnicity, be classified as ‘racist’? Or is the material only racist if it denigrates people of colour? If you would like to see the rest of this ‘Ethics’ code, you can find it at the following link: https://www.nswtf.org.au/about/ethics.html

To the point however, the NSW Teachers Federation are now attempting to rid public schools of weekly Special Religious Education (SRE) lessons. Generally, these lessons take up approximately 30-40 minutes of class time each week. Looking at it another way, that’s 6-8 minutes a day. It’s really not taking away from the education of students. SRE is generally found in public primary schools. The vast majority of high schools in NSW do not have SRE nor any form of scripture within their school. For background, SRE teachers come in to public primary schools one day each week to teach children about their faith. SRE is completely optional. Students are not required to participate. Parents of the students are generally given the option as to whether they would like to enrol their children in SRE lessons, and if so which faith. That’s right, it’s not only Catholic scripture that is taught in public schools. I’ve personally been through the system and seen a multitude of religions being catered to by people of those different faiths. Catholicism is just one of many. Buddhism, Hinduism, other denominations of Christianity such as the Anglican denomination, and others are all available for students in the public system. And all SRE teachers are completely unpaid. They volunteer their own time to teach scripture, to guide children in their faith.

In the case that a student and/or their parents decide not to enrol in SRE lessons of any kind, there will generally be a non-scripture group for the student to join, in which they generally have free time. This is where the Federation comes in. They believe that SRE is taking away from valuable class time for students, hindering their education, particularly for those who are in non-scripture. First, let’s address that non-scripture point. Students in non-scripture could use that 30-40 minute period to further their education. They could use it to do some extra work, or even just to read a book. So it’s only going to impact their education if they choose to let it. And to the point of the students who participate in scripture having their education hindered. Students who are involved in SRE lessons generally benefit from these short lessons each week. They learn values and morals which will indeed benefit them throughout their lives. And they are able to gain a deeper understanding and connection with their faith, something that can prove invaluable. So are these lessons doing any damage? The answer is simple. No, they are not.

But see, the NSW Teachers Federation is hiding something. Well, in saying that, they aren’t really doing a great job of hiding it. This group, this union, have an agenda. They do not simply want to eradicate SRE in public schools across NSW because it eats into class time and affects the education of students. That’s all a facade. It’s a smoke screen for a more sinister agenda. See, the real reason that this group want to take out SRE is so that they can replace it with their own ideologies.

In writing this article, I did what any good journalist would do: research. I visited the website of the NSW Teachers Federation, and both what I found and didn’t find is quite intriguing. First, there is no reference at all to taking SRE out of NSW public schools. No mention of it anywhere on their website. However, what should peak your interest is that there are campaigns and events for Marriage Equality, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and the MediVac Bill put forward by Independent MP Kerryn Phelps. So what does this tell you? It speaks volumes. It says all you need to know about this group. It’s obvious that the Federation is actively campaigning against Western Civilisation, be it against religion, the Church, border security, the family, etc. And it is clear that this group is in many ways tied to the Left.

In doing my research, I also reached out to the Federation for comment. I sent them an email asking about their opposition to SRE, and also what they define as ‘racist’. They did send a response, shown below:

‘Federation proudly celebrates diversity and welcomes all faiths and all religions. Federation believes that any education, religious or not, should be done in line with an approved curriculum and by a qualified teacher. This is not the case with SRE which the 2015/17 independent review of Special Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics in NSW government schools highlighted. Instead it is merely the responsibility of the approved provider not the Department of Education, to authorise the instructors and materials used in SRE and SEE.

Federation supports General religious education which is taught by qualified teaching staff at the school and is part of an approved curriculum endorsed by the Department of Education and the Board of studies. Federation will continue to research and consult with members in regards to any possible changes to SRE. An article on this matter has been written and will be published in the next Journal.’

From this response, it is clear that these people have no wishes for SRE to continue in NSW public schools. There are however a few interesting points to note. First, they mention ‘qualified teachers’, and mention how current SRE teachers are not authorised by the Department of Education. The issue with this point is that all SRE teachers and helpers are vetted. They all must clear a Working With Children Check, which is to be renewed regularly. They are also issued with identification. They are also put on file by the school/s at which they teach scripture. And in order to actually teach SRE, an individual must partake in a Level 1 Course as is set out by the Diocese. If you do not partake in this course, you cannot teach SRE. There are also Level 2 and Level 3 courses which are optional, however improve the qualifications of the teacher. So these teachers are highly qualified. And the quite obvious point: if the Department of Education didn’t trust these people, would they really be in schools with young children? Second, SRE teachers are highly qualified to teach scripture. Because that is all they are teaching. It’s not as if they are teaching English, Maths or Science. They are simply teaching their faith. And no one is more qualified to teach the faith than someone who lives it, someone who is of the faith. A regular teacher could be seen as underqualified to teach scripture as they may not be of the faith they are teaching, and will thereby hinder the learning of their students.

And to the other interesting point. In their response, Federation stated that ‘Federation proudly celebrates diversity and welcomes all faiths and all religions.’ So if they are going to be so welcoming of everyone, no matter what their faith, why would they attempt to take the opportunity away from students to learn more about their faith? Isn’t that a contradiction of their own beliefs? Now I understand that they want some sort of Board approved curriculum. However, from the history of education in NSW, it seems apparent that the Board would likely neglect such curriculum when it comes to matters such as religion. In fact, the current curriculum as taught by SRE teachers in NSW public schools is very much appropriate, and enables students to gain a deep well rounded understanding of their faith.

So that brings us to the big question: why change the system if it already works? It’s obvious that the NSW Teachers Federation wants to abolish or at least restrict religious teaching in NSW public schools. It would be interesting to see how many of the people involved in this campaign have actually been through the system, and how many are at all religious. It is known that many of those who are in positions of power at the Federation are in favour of ethics. They would happily see ethics taught in schools, including the Safe Schools program, which is commonly said to be a program that teaches children to be accepting of all people, and is referred to as a preventative measure to bullying of LGBTIQ+ people. However, Safe Schools practically teaches children that their gender is fluid, and that they can basically be whatever they want. If this program can be taught in schools, what’s the issue with SRE being taught as well? Is it simply a problem because of religion? Because many religions, in particular Christianity, does have a fundamental value to be welcoming to all people. If the Safe Schools program is ok, then surely SRE is perfectly fine. And interestingly enough, SRE also teaches ethical values, so it’s practically ethics with faith mixed in. However, the Federation don’t see it all this way. They want NSW public schools to be secular. It is important to note that campaigns such as this have worked before, in both Western Australia and Victoria. Anti-religious people, those that oppose the West, are attempting to turn Australia into a completely secular country. NSW is the latest in a string of attacks on religion and religious teaching. We cannot allow for religion to be eradicated in this country. NSW cannot allow itself to fall to secularists such as the NSW Teachers Federation like Western Australia and Victoria did. We must rally together and push back. It is important that we keep SRE alive. It’s a matter of protecting religious freedom, an essential basic human right.

I would also like to note that I did ask the Federation about point 12 of their ethics code, which regards racism and racist material. I asked them to define what they would see as ‘racist’, particularly ‘racist material’. They failed to answer the first time, so I asked once more. The question asked was the following:

‘Also, I notice you didn’t answer my question on point 12 of your ethics code. So I’ll ask it again. I note that in your ethics code under point 12, it is stated that ‘Members shall not engage in any form of racist behaviour, comments and dissemination of racist material.’ I would like to know what your organisation defines as ‘racist’, particularly that of ‘racist material’. Would this include material that denigrates those of white ethnicity, in particularly white males, for having alleged ‘privilege’ as a resultant of their ethnicity? Or does this only include material that denigrates people of colour?’

I received a response from Federation this afternoon, in which they stated ‘In regards to point 12 of our code of ethics, Federation does not condone racism of any type, to anyone. As a white male I do not share your views, and you seem to be insinuating that SRE is only for white males.’ It’s an odd response. It’s nice to see that they do not condone racism of any type to anyone, however, it seems that they do not believe that individuals off white ethnicity can be victims of racism. I’m not certain if this is the view of the entire organisation, or just that of the individual who sent me this response. However, the second part of the response is just absurd. Nowhere in my question did I insinuate that SRE is only for white males. In fact, it’s hard to come by a male SRE teacher these days. The majority of SRE teachers are women. And there are many different races represented by SRE teachers. In essence, this just shows how out of touch the NSW Teachers Federation is with the wider community. Stand up against them. Protect SRE and religious freedom in NSW.

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