2500 school counsellor jobs axed by the High Court
That’s the net result. And why? Because those counsellors also happen to be chaplains in their other vocation – a vocation they weren’t allowed to push onto the kids anyway in the position as counsellor.
Yep, 2500 school counsellors have been ripped from thousands, tens, hundreds of thousands of Aussie kids.
From schools all across Australia.
A hollow “victory”, the antithesis to pragmatism, and certainly not something to be celebrated.
A jazz-singing father of six has won a battle against the Commonwealth in the High Court over the school chaplaincy program.
Ron Williams, from Toowoomba, Queensland, took issue with what he called a religious missionary being put into schools.
He challenged the program on the basis Commonwealth officers are not allowed to be subject to a religious test under the Constitution.
The court dismissed that claim, but did find the Commonwealth had no power to enter the agreement which funded the program.
The national chaplaincy program was set up in 2007 by the Howard government to provide for the spiritual wellbeing of students.
It was later modified by Labor to allow schools to choose to employ either a chaplain or a non-religious student welfare worker.
I had a bit to say about this today in response to a Facebook post cheering the High Court’s decision. Rather than repeat it all, here it is below the fold, in what I reckon was a pretty good argument with solid points being made by both “sides”.