As reported on ABC News at 7pm on Monday, July 18, Rev Fred Nile has told the O’Farrell government that he won’t vote for their new IR legislation unless they agree to cancel Ethics Classes in NSW public schools.
At last count, Primary Ethics had started 180 Ethics classes in 128 schools across the state, teaching about 2700 students in Years 5&6 each week. You may recall that there are about 100,000 children whose parents opt their kids out of SRE classes and we are offering an alternative (it is not compulsory) to that section of each school community, should they so desire it. At no school that I know of – and I would have heard from them, I can assure you – has there been anything more than a minor effect on the enrolments in SRE classes, which was the biggest fear held by our detractors last year. In most schools, there has been no move away from SRE classes.
We expect most people will be appalled that Rev Nile would seek to hold our children to ransom like this and try to blackmail the government into moving against both the parents and the overwhelming majority of NSW voters. The Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, said on the news that the government will not cancel Ethics classes. We’d like to hold him to his word.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STATE MP – especially if he/she is from the Liberal or National Party – the Education Minister and the Premier and ask for confirmation that the government will not cave into Rev Nile’s demands to cancel Ethics classes. It is possible that it will go to a conscience vote, so every phone call, email and direct meeting will count. The vote for the IR bill is due on August 2nd, so there is no time to waste.