Resist the Humanist Society of Scotland's Attempt to Undermine the Teaching Authority of Parents
Currently, when religious observance takes place in schools, all pupils, up to the age of 18, are required to attend. However, with express parental permission, children are permitted to opt-out.
Now, the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) is seeking a judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after the Scottish Government rejected calls for a change to the current rules which permit only parents to opt out on their children’s behalf.
The move follows a recent review by the United Nations Children’s Rights Committee which recommended the parental right to opt out of religious observance should be extended to young people.
Of course, in extending a parental right, a right which recognises the teaching authority of parents, to children, the UNCRC are undermining that very right for parents. To give the right to opt out of religious observance to children means taking the right for parents to decide how their children are educated away from the parent themselves and giving it to the state and to the children.
That is what this issue is really about. It is all about the teaching authority of parents and their right to be primary educators of their own children. The state system should be assisting with this task and not undermining.
If parents do not want their children to participate in religious observance, they are permitted to do so. In this way, the rights of all parents whatever their background, are respected.
In allowing children themselves to decide whether or not they will attend religious observance, they are failing to respect parent’s rights to raise their children within their own tradition, and unnecessarily creating strife within a family by potentially pitting children against their own parents.
Please sign this petition to John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education, letting him know that you support the current Scottish system whereby only parents are allowed to remove their children from religious observance.