The State Liberals have called on the Weatherill Labor Government to abandon a draft schools procedure that could see Christmas carols banned in SA public schools.
“Christmas carols have long been sung at many schools across South Australia as part of their end of year celebrations," said Shadow Minister for Education John Gardner.
“It's not for every school, but school communities are the ones who should determine whether or not they take place – not the government.”
The draft 'Religious Procedures in Government Schools' document, currently being considered by the Government, clarifies a range of procedures relating to pastors in schools, religious education and religious seminars.
For the first time the revised document refers to Christmas carols, saying:
'DECD schools are secular and therefore Christmas carols, singing and performing, for example, is not regulated by the department. There are clear policy requirements to ensure that schools are not involved in promoting a commitment to a specific set of religious beliefs.’
“This is a classic case of government overreach – creating rules to restrict behaviour where there's just no need for the government to be involved,” said Mr Gardner.
“If schools want to have carols we should be clear in the guidelines that they should be allowed to have carols. Or else don't put in a reference to carols in the guidelines at all!
“Proceeding with this change would be the act of a politically-correct Christmas grinch.”