Say a little prayer for Frenchville
FRENCHVILLE State School should have consulted parents before moving to abolish morning prayers, Rockhampton MP Robert Schwarten said yesterday.
"This is a very sensitive issue for some members of our community and I think it should have been put to parents before a decision was made,'' he said. Mr Schwarten yesterday met with Frenchville principal Leisa Neaton to discuss the change following public criticism from 4RO announcer Jeff Goodwin.
He said Ms Neaton conceded the matter could have been han- dled better, but supported her efforts to modernise by replacing the prayer with an affirmation.
"This is not about taking Christianity out of the school, it is simply an attempt to reflect modern values through a creed,'' he said.
"Religious education will continue at the school and prayers will still be used for formal occasions.''
But Mr Goodwin, whose children are students at the school, said the introduction of an affirmation was a cop-out.
"Once again the minority has won out ... it just seems to me that we have to be sweeping what we believe in under the carpet,'' he said.
"Saying a prayer can't hurt anyone, it wasn't hurting anyone before, the school was packed to capacity year after year with parents trying to get their kids in.''
An Education Queensland spokesman said the school opted to replace the prayer with an affirmation to reflect students' various backgrounds.
"The affirmation would continue to promote important school values such as respect, tolerance, diversity, leadership and responsibility,'' he said.