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Queensland education officials have moved to ban refer­ences to Jesus in the primary school yard, kids exchanging Christmas cards and encouraging Christianity – with an unofficial policy that takes aim at junior evangelists.

The Australian reports, Christian groups and free-speech advocates have expressed alarm at the recent edict from the Queensland Department of Education and Training contained within its latest review into religious instruction materials and warning that principals were expected to take action against students caught evangelising to their peers.

“While not explicitly prohibited by the (legislation), nor referenced in the Religious Instruction (RI) policy, the department expects schools to take appropriate action if aware that students participating in RI are evangelising to students who do not,” says the department’s ­report into the GodSpace ­religious instruction materials, released earlier this year.

“This could adversely affect the school’s ability to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive ­environment.”

the aust
Departmental policy defines “evangelising” as “preaching or advocating a cause or religion with the object of making converts to Christianity”.

Examples of evangelising include sharing Christmas cards that refer to Jesus’s birth, creating Christmas tree decorations to give away and making beaded bracelets to give to friends “as a way of sharing the good news about Jesus”. Read more here.

The story has sparked a lot of backlash

A post on Studio 10 Facebook page has attracted over 250 comments.

Comments include:

“Let us start with eliminating bullying in the schoolyards, then when we solve that issue we can move on to others. This is a joke.”

“Christmas for some of us not about religion, it’s about family, love, getting together, why spoil that just for your own small mindedness.”

“This is beyond absurd! Children evangelising in the schoolyard….are you joking? How is handing out Christmas cards harmful?”

“Oh just shut up will you. I’m so sick of everyone having to be politically correct and of the do-gooders trying to enforce their ideas on society. They’ve taken what essentially should be a good thing and just killed it for everyone!”

“Surely this is a beat up!! No classroom made cards for mum and dad? No presents for the teacher, or Christmas concerts? This will never happen anywhere in Australia.”

“As a Vic primary teacher, ALL children give Christmas cards to each other regardless of religious background. They also give candy canes! Parents need to stop overlaying their own prejudices on their children. It is a ritual to end the year on a happy note before the holidays!”

“Omg r u kidding me! So many more important things to worry about for kids in school, such as bullying which is worse, then ever and is even pushing kids to kill themselves or consider it I would say bullying is a priority not religion or if kids give out Xmas cards ffs my kids, grandkids loved giving Xmas cards!”

Do kids even know what evangelising is? I truly doubt it! 

Share your comments

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  • Yep, the worlds gone crazy! Why do people seem to think banning the majority from doing things to suit the minority is not the way to go. The minorities can simply avoid what they don’t want to be involved in, there’s no need to ban everything

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  • This is nonsense, let kids be kids, oh, can’t wait for Christmas.

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  • oh wow when will this nonsense stop? because this is getting beyond ridiculous! stop taking the fun out of being a kid! this isn’t fair to the little ones who only see this season as fun! too much adult pc’ness is involved in this decision and this is all about pleasing the adults! hey teacher!….leave them kids alone!

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  • These days most people don’t think about the religious side of Christmas at all.
    It’s all about Santa,( the fantasy of it), sharing quality time wih immediate family, relatives and friends. Those who don’t celebrate still have holidays and don’t work. Some sing carols that are in no way religious. Christians in Aust. do not stop people from other religions celebrating what they believe in.

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  • I would suggest people not get so outraged and look behind the ravings on social media … here are the facts about this matter. If you think of yourself as a reasonably sane person, read this and ponder. http://www.couriermail.com.au/rendezview/when-outrage-is-so-much-easier-than-open-minds/news-story/55beb6425f01e7d968b647c55278badc

    Reply

  • Ridilculous. Jesus is a crucial part of Christmas to me. Without him, there is no Christmas!

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  • I’m pretty anti religion, but my young son is good friends with a boy from a very religious family. It’s just an opportunity to talk about respecting different sets of beliefs.

    Reply

  • Instead of embracing and celebrating all religions, we seem to be going the other way. No fun for anyone!

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  • how about we focus on teaching the kids actual things they will need when they are older. I think it really is disgusting that christmas celebrations should be banned for the kids that do celebrate christmas – each year my girls and I make something to hand out at the end of the school year – last year it was christmas decorations – a circle shape with some gold and silver paint and their name engraved on them – for the kids that didn’t celebrate christmas we didn’t include a christmas card (easy to find out which ones just ask the teacher!) – for theirs we included just a simple note that said enjoy the school holidays. those kids didn’t miss out and got included in the joy of giving we were just organised and made sure we could accommodate them – it’s annoying but I would rather give them something than nothing – I think people have to use some common sense – if your child/family doesn’t believe in christmas that is fine, but banning it from schools is really disappointing – both believers and non believers need to learn to respect each others beliefs but let each other participate in their beliefs without judgement or interference.

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  • Jeez. This should be pretty far down on the list of priorities.

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  • Instead of cutting it out why don’t we encourage the kids and their families to learn about and celebrate the other religion’s special days? More celebrating is what we all need!

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  • What utter rubbish! This is paramount to brainwashing ….

    Reply

  • Really ??!
    If anything we should teach our kids tolerance for different religions and believes !


    • Exactly!! We want and need the generations of the future to have tolerance and respect – look at what happens when this does not occur. :(

    Reply

  • I do not agree at all with this!

    Reply

  • WTF!!??!? I’m not religious but this is ridiculous. Giving cards is fun & what you do when you want to show people you care & wish them happiness etc.

    Reply

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