The National School Chaplaincy Program

The AFA opposes the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP).

In October of 2006 the Howard government introduced the National School Chaplaincy Program which sought to provide all public schools with access to dedicated spiritual and religious assistance in the form of school chaplains.

In 2011, the Gillard government pledged $222 million to expand the program to an additional 1,000 schools and included funding of secular student well-being officers. In 2014 the Abbott Government budgeted another $245 million to the program and removed the option for secular officers, limiting the NSCP solely to religious individuals.

The program in its current form discriminates against those who do not hold religious views by refusing to hire them until every other avenue has been exhausted. This is not acceptable in a modern democratic and (supposedly) secular society. The program MUST remove its religious discrimination policies.

The NSCP in its current practice is directed to place religious individuals into public schools to provide “spiritual guidance” to students. It would seem that the program might determine the majority religious view of the school community and would hire individuals who express those views. The NSCP would then require those individuals not to express their religious views. This does not seem to be a religiously neutral process.

The AFA considers the current NSCP to be inherently discriminatory and dangerous.

Related article: https://www.smh.com.au/national/contentious-school-chaplain-program-is-on-shaky-legal-ground-20180309-p4z3nl.html

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