Christian Schools Want to Employ Christians – Controversial?

Christian Schools Australia

Christian Schools Want to Employ Christians – Controversial?

Once again, the media has used a ‘clickbait’ headline and slapped the word ‘controversial’ on calls to ensure that Christian schools can employ Christian staff,[1] ignoring the fundamental rights of parents protected in international law.

‘Christian or other faith-based schools employing staff who share their beliefs is just common sense’, said Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy for Christian Schools Australia, ‘nobody suggests that it is controversial for politicians to employ staff and advisers who share their beliefs’.

The story in Bundaberg’s regional NewsMail quoted a PR consultant and mother who indicated she would not send her children to a school who sought to include faith as an employment criteria, but recognised that ‘many parents in the Bundaberg region had diverse views’.

‘Fundamental human rights principles, accepted in international law which Australia has ratified, also recognise that parents have diverse views – and protect their right to educate their child in accordance with their view’, Mr Spencer said.

‘No parent is forced to choose a Christian or other faith-based school for their child’, he said, ‘but those who want to do so should have that right’.

‘The “right qualifications” to work in a Christian school are best determined by that school, based on their needs and how they want to achieve their goals’, he said.

‘What is controversial is the Queensland Human Rights Commissions, or parents with children in other schools, trying to force their approaches to education onto Christian schools and imposing a “one size fits all” view of schooling.’

Article 18(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights requires signatories, including Australia, to protect “the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions”.

‘Nothing is more fundamental to parents than caring for their children’, Mr Spencer said, ‘that includes for many ensuring an education aligned with their beliefs’.

‘The strong response to the e-petition to “Protect the Rights of Christian Schools” clearly evidences the widespread support across Queensland’.

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