Concern students 'forced' to attend Christian service
A MOTHER of two students at a Toowoomba state school is outraged that students are being "forced'' to attend a Christian religious service.
The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, says the school is making attendance at a Christian service mandatory unless parents object in writing.
The school has a religious instruction program that culminates in a Christmas service, which will be held on Thursday, December 3.
The program will include the donation of shoeboxes by students to a local charity.
The mother took objection with a part of the school newsletter which states: "All children are invited to the service however if your child does not participate in the religious instruction program and you would prefer that they do not attend please notify your child's teacher in writing (by paper hard copy or email)."
She said the requirement went against Education Queensland's policy.
"With regards to Chaplaincy, the education Qld website states that student involvement in any activities offered as part of a school's chaplaincy/student welfare service is voluntary," she said.
"(The policy states that) children who have stated no religion or a non-Christian religion on their enrolment form should not be included in a Christian religious service unless parents provide written instructions otherwise and that events provided by the chaplain must be available to students of all beliefs."
The Chronicle has chosen not to name the school, in western Toowoomba, as it has not yet responded to the allegations.