Petition to remove Religious Observance from nondenominational schools scheduled for hearing by The City of Edinburgh Council petitions committee on June 3rd.

ESS News Release 15 April 2013

Edinburgh Secular Society 

Challenging religious privilege
www.edinburghsecularsociety.com
News release

• Petition to remove Religious Observance from nondenominational schools scheduled for hearing by The City of Edinburgh Council petitions committee on June 3rd.
• ESS frustrated as church-supported counter petition to “keep RO” is to be heard at the same time.
Monday 15th April 2013 For immediate release
Veronica Wikman’s petition supported by The Edinburgh Secular Society has already received more than twice the number of signatures required to warrant a hearing by the Petitions Committee but it seems that the committee will also hear a petition
proposing to retain RO.
ESS is surprised that CEC has both accepted this petition to retain the status quo and scheduled it to be heard at the same time as Ms Wikman’s but we welcome the chance for a full debate on this issue. Religious worship cannot be justified in schools
when parents have so many different views on religion.
Petitioner and parent Veronica Wikman says “This is a knee-jerk reaction by a sector of the religious community who are desperate to hold on to their privilege but I’m confident that CEC recognises this and will act to end the indoctrination and
discrimination of RO.”
ESS founding member Professor Norman Bonney says “These polarised views make it all the more important to consult the electors in a referendum according to section 8 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980.”
Neil Barber ESS media officer says “Religious education (RE), if taught without bias, rightly introduces children to different religious and philosophical ideas. We do not need additional RO which is just preaching. We hope that people will understand the difference.”

**** ENDS ****
NOTES TO EDITOR

• For further information contact Gary McLelland – Chairman on 07813060713 or Neil Barber – Media Officer on 07986183977.
• ESS believes in freedom of religion and freedom from religion.
• ESS is affiliated to the National Secular Society, although views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the NSS.
• ESS can provide speakers for TV/Radio interview, quotes and pictures on request.
• The petition can be viewed and signed online at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/directory_record/219097/remove_religious_observance_from_non-denominational_schools
* Ms Wikman is a member of ESS.

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