Religious instruction provider joins landmark Bible in Schools case

 

SECULAR SYSTEM?

A father is taking his child’s school and the attorney-general to the High Court in a landmark case over school Bible lessons.

Things turned sour between the school in Red Beach, a suburb on the Hibiscus Coast, and Jeff McClintock after his daughter, Violet, now nine, was placed in Bible classes without parental permission.

One of the Bible class teachers from Life in Focus Trust, a volunteer who was not a qualified teacher, said parents did not need to be notified because the classes were “history lessons” as the Bible was factually correct.

The school operated an “opt out” system, but McClintock said despite opting out, Violet was repeatedly put back in.

After numerous complaints, McClintock was bringing his case against Red Beach School Board of Trustees for breaching its duties under the Education Act 1989 and against the attorney-general for passing legislation that was inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights.

Board of trustees chairman Antony Wentworth said the legal action was a “frustration” and a “distraction from core business”.

The first hearing was set down for March 26 at the High Court at Auckland.

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