Aust court rejects govt funded chaplain work
Wed, 20 Jun 2012 3:50p.m.
By Rod McGuirk
Australia's highest court said today that the government exceeded its constitutional powers by paying for chaplains to run programs in public schools.
The High Court ruling is a victory for Ron Williams, whose six-year-old son came home from Darling Heights State School singing gospel songs in 2010. Williams sued over the program at the school in Toowoomba in Queensland state.
Six of seven High Court judges agreed that the government exceeded its powers by paying Scripture Union Queensland for the school's chaplaincy service.
About 2,700 schools around Australia have similar programs. Attorney-General Nicole Roxon says she is examining the ruling's implications.
The voluntary programs include support and guidance about ethics, values, relationships, spirituality and religious issues. It costs the government about AU$70 million a year.
The programs were introduced in 2007, when the conservative Liberal Party led the government, but the centre-left Labor Party government currently in power had planned to expand it.
"It wasn't appropriate for a Commonwealth Government to fund such an endeavour in public schools," Williams told Australian Broadcasting Corp. "It's outrageous; it was always outrageous."
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2/07/2012 3:27:07 p.m.
It seems a shame that children are allowed to sing any song they like, regardless of the subject or words,listen to the radio which has some questionable topics or comments, especially for children, watch TV, which at times is no better. But when a child comes home singing a Christian song the father sues?
Somewhere along the way social values have deteriorated badly.
When did God's values get thrown out the window? Isn't our law based on His laws? I think we need to rethink our values and bring our children up on Godly values. Keep the Chaplains in the schools. If children want to sing christian songs, isn't they better than todays songs, eg, hate, kill, divorce, etc.
If the father is so against God then instead of sueing, maybe discuss his beliefs with the child and why he doesn't want that particular song sung.
From my understanding Chaplains have made a difference to the behaviour of students. I think it would be a shame to remove then from our schools.
20/06/2012 4:10:55 p.m.
Well done, Mr Williams, you have dragged all of Australia down to your level.
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