Issues over Bible head to commission

A dispute over The Bible being used to teach children values is heading to the Human Rights Commission.

Red Beach School parent Jeff McClintock feels his daughter's school has been ignoring his concerns for three years and decided to take the matter the further.

McClintock, a member of the Secular Education Network, has been in a long running dispute with the school over weekly Value in Action lessons which teach values using bible verse.

When his daughter Violet, 8, started at the school she was placed in the lessons without parental permission, he says.

"That wouldn't have been a huge problem but we asked four times for her to be taken out and the teachers kept putting her in," he says.

He complained and says he received an apology, but the next week Violet was put back in again.

When the school did take Violet from the classes she was sent to a neighbouring class and given a book to read, he says.

"She was just sitting by herself and she felt it was like punishment and she came home crying and she said ‘I promise not to be naughty again'," he says.

With his 4-year-old son Lee starting at the school next year McClintock has further concerns.

Red Beach School trustee board chairman Antony Wentworth says the school is happy to work with the Human Rights Commission if it requires a review of the classes. "The school meets all legal requirements and feedback from stakeholders indicates that the Values in Action programme is well rounded and supports the Red Beach School vision."

A spokeswoman for the Human Right's Commission confirmed McClintock's complaint has been received and will now be assessed within its resolution process.

North Harbour News