Catholic school students would receive a more balanced view of important social and political issues in class than at unregulated, non-educational events, Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW) said today.
CSNSW Chief Executive Officer Dallas McInerney says Catholic education supported students becoming more informed about the world and their role in its future.
“These matters are important to all young people and many Catholic schools have discussions with their students about these issues in a supervised school setting,” Mr McInerney said.
“We believe students should discuss these issues in class where there is a responsibility on teachers to present information on important, contentious issues in a balanced and factual way.”
Mr McInerney also said that Catholic education supported the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, which is being held this Friday.
“This event directly involves the behaviour and safety of all students. Participation in this National Day of Action sends a clear message that schools and students won’t tolerate bullying.
“The theme for this year’s National Day of Action is Bullying. No Way! Take action every day.
“It gives schools the chance to take action and empower young people to be part of the solution when addressing bullying in their school community.
“More than half the nation’s schools have registered to participate.
“Catholic school students are asked to attend school on Friday to show support for their fellow students who may have experienced bullying in the schoolyard or online.
“We note the planned strike day – but unregulated protests of this type are outside the control of our schools and therefore cannot receive our endorsement.
“Attendance at such activities outside of school hours is a matter for students and their families; this event, however, is being held during school hours and we remind Catholic school students of the compulsory nature of school attendance.”
Council of Catholic School Parents Executive Director, Peter Grace, added that while it is encouraging that young people are passionate about global issues, they are best served by learning about these issues from their teachers and each other at school and from their families at home.
“Our Church has a long tradition of Catholic social teaching, at the centre of which is the dignity of the human person and the common good,” Mr Grace said.
“There’s no better way for students to express the principles of Catholic social teaching than to stand together with their peers and teachers at school on Friday in support of the National Day of Action.”