Teaching Christianity in Christian Schools Is ‘Extremist’?

Updated October 28th 2007 –  A Christian organisation has been banned from a church-run primary school following complaints by non Christian parents who claim their children were being “exposed to potentially damaging ideology”  and “extremist” views about sin.

Some parents apparently complained that their children were told that if they don’t believe in God, “they would not go to a good place when they died.”

Wayne Harris, national director of the Christian charity Crossteach, denies these allegations and said;

 “Wherever possible we work in partnership with local churches and we reflect their teaching, always aiming to be sensitive to the local context, and recognizing that churches vary. We teach mainstream Christianity,” Wayne Harris, national director of the Christian charity Crossteach.”

“In 16 years of Christian schools work no teacher has ever raised a concern that something has been said that could be interpreted as in any way ‘hateful’ or ‘extremist’ and we strongly refute this current parental allegation. On the contrary, schools have consistently expressed appreciation for the contribution that Crossteach has made and for the quality of the work,” Harris added.

As The London Telegraph reported that another parent who wasn’t named said,

“I do know some of the children have been upset by what they have heard. No one minds Nativity plays and Bible stories but considering most of the parents at the school aren’t practicing Christians, I think the feeling is that it’s all too much.”

Furthermore the The Guardian reported:

“We recognize and respect the school’s Christian values but think there is a brand of Christianity that is abusing that respect. The basis of [our] complaint relates purely to concerns over the welfare and safeguarding of children who we believe are being exposed to potentially damaging ideology.”

The headmaster of the school said that he is “deeply saddened” to be cutting ties with the Crossteach Christian group, but that however.

“I do not believe Crossteach has done anything wrong,” Turvey added. “They do not deserve the tarnishing of their good name and allegations of extremism that have taken place over the last few months.”

Although the faith school St. Johns has a mandate to promote the Church of England and Christianity, it’s still has an obligation to follow Department for Education DfE guidelines when it comes to non-discrimination and respect and tolerance for other faiths, The Guardian noted, which in this case presumably superseded the Christian groups biblical bible teachings.

Conservative Christian parents have also clashed with Church of England schools. Nigel and Sally Rowe said last month that they’re considering taking legal actions against a school in Portsmouth after officials dismissed their concerns regarding allowing transgender children.

The Rowes have said that their son was left confused after a boy in his class began wearing a dress to school.

“Our children first said ‘they’re a boy and they’re my friend, and now I’ve got [to] say she instead of he,'” the couple explained.

The school said it must follow guidelines and “acknowledge a transgendered person’s [so-called] true gender”.

The Rowe’s stated that officials “should have provided support for the transgender child in a more discrete way with people who are trained professionals.

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