What Happens to Non-Christian Children in South African Schools?

2013-10-02 15:05

I will start off by telling you about an unpleasant experience I had earlier this year, (some of you may have heard this story already) at the beginning of March, I witnessed my old high school’s ‘official Facebook page’ promoting Christianity through various posts, the school’s account is set up as a personal Facebook account, rather than a page, and instead of ‘liking’ it (to receive its updates) you have to send a friend request. I was ‘friends’ with my old high school for probably a year or more at the time of the incident, my primary reasons for ‘befriending’ the school was simply to get info on the school’s sporting fixtures and results but I was relatively interested in any of the school’s activities.

On one sunny Friday morning, the school posted an image containing the following words: “Psalm 34: 10 - those who seek the lord lack no good thing” – Now I had two objections to this post, one that I probably would have had even as a Christian and another that’ll go on to form the central theme of this article.

First, the verse is demonstrably false, no religious group or person is free from misfortune, tragedy or grief. Secondly, this account belongs to a school not a church, and a public school in a secular country at that. 

I did eventually schedule a meeting with the principal, and in a twist of irony the dominee from my old church offered to accompany me to the meeting, the dominee is on the school’s governing body and he felt his presence would help ensure that the principal didn’t abuse his authority again. The meeting went relatively well, I was unbanned and I received an apology for being banned (but only after apologising for my use of profanity) the school’s apology was also followed by a range of excuses, from the odd claim that they couldn’t not ban me because they were yet to sit down and review the incident, to the claim that they banned me for my own protection, as they feared some of the people who threatened to beat me up might have also been at the rugby(yet none of this was mentioned to me on the day)  - good news is that despite not ever acknowledging that there was anything wrong with using the school’s Facebook account to promote religion, they have not shared or posted a single religion-themed picture or status since 8 March this year(the day of the initial incident).


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