Despite her protestations, Education Services Minister Jacinta Allan cannot shirk her responsibilities for education outcomes in this state (The Age, 29/5/2006). Religious educators should not be allowed to impose their values on students without regard to the impacts on the community as a whole. For example, if some children are to receive instruction in school that homosexuality is impure, wrong, sinful and godless, we will see an inevitable rise in youth suicide, homophobia and gay-bashings. Similar teaching practices will see a rise in misogyny and sexism, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies. All have a fallout much wider than the school community in which they are taught.
It is not acceptable for the Minister to duck these issues and leave it to future governments to pick up the pieces. Religious schools need clear direction that they must operate within the common value systems of the wider community.