Bi­ble stud­ies case likely to head to High Court

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion, but the com­mis­sion said it be­lieves the High Court is a bet­ter place for the is­sue to be ar­gued.

SEN spokesman David Hines said the or­gan­i­sa­tion wanted to change laws that per­mit­ted Bi­ble stud­ies be­ing taught in schools.

He said the pro­gramme of Bi­bles in Schools was in­con­sis­tent with the Bill of Rights Act.

‘‘It’s dis­crim­i­nat­ing in favour of Chris­tian­ity against other re­li­gions.’’

‘‘They teach all our val­ues come from Chris­tian­ity, which an­noys peo­ple. They teach you have to be­lieve in God to be a good per­son . . . they don’t men­tion Is­lam in any of their lessons,’’ he said.

Hines said par­ents had the right to pull their stu­dents out of classes but it seg­re­gated the class and could cause bul­ly­ing.

‘‘They can get la­belled as an­tichris­tian and par­ents also.’’

Hines said SEN was not op­posed to teach­ing re­li­gion in schools.

Cur­rently it was done by vol­un­teers and most of the time, only Chris­tian­ity was taught.

He said it needed to be taught by pro­fes­sional teach­ers and all re­li­gious be­liefs needed to be cov­ered.

A Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion spokesper­son con­firmed it sup­ported SEN’S ap­pli­ca­tion to have its case heard at the High Court.

‘‘The pro­ceed­ings were orig­i­nally filed with the Hu­man Rights Re­view Tri­bunal in Oc­to­ber 2016 and lit­tle sub­stan­tive progress has been made since then,’’ the spokesper­son said.

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