The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Saturday that a fight is being waged against the introduction of ethics classes in primary schools.
The context: scripture classes. New South Wales allows for one hour per week of religious instruction. Those who opt out of such instruction - as many as 80% in some schools - are not allowed to be placed at an advantage by learning or revising other subjects.
In fact, the quality of the 'scripture' classes, and the availability of different religious options, is fully dictated by the availability of suitable volunteers in each school.
For example, this has meant that at my kids' school, the offerings have for some time included Anglican, Catholic - and Baha'i. And now some parents have felt sufficiently moved to organise a Buddhist class for next year.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Parents and Citizens Association of NSW has commissioned the St James Ethical Centre to develop a pilot program to offer ethics classes for those who opt out of scripture.
But the State Government's religious education advisory panel has spoken out against the program (see the report mentioned above).
They don't want those opting out of religous classes to gain unfair advantage? That's akin to saying that a properly focused ethics class provides kids with a sounder ethics education than religious instruction. A rather dangerous admission?