Thursday, February 4, 2010

Catholic School Headmaster admits Religious Education fails to make better citizens

Many, if not all, parents who send their children to religious schools in New Zealand, do so justifying their positions, outwardly at least, not as being some intergenerational subservience to their own childhood indoctrination with said religion – but that such educational facilities give their children a better ‘grounding’ than their secular counterparts.

In the minds of these parents and advocates, religious doctrine and the Christian principals imparted, at what are little more than tax-payer subsidised private-schools, provides children with a better ‘grounding’.

This presumption is rubbish according to, none other than the head-master of Christchurch’s largest Catholic Boys high-school, St Bedes College.

Its good parenting that counts – schools have little meaningful influence – except for when the student is enrolled and in class or running around its sports-fields.

Asked why a large contingent of current and ‘ex’ pupils of St Bedes were involved in a mass-brawl outside McDonald's in Merivale on Saturday night, one that left one victim in hospital & one facing assault-charges, the rector of St Bedes, Justin Boyle, had this to say in yesterdays’s Christchurch Press newspaper:

"We have got no jurisdiction over what happens outside of class time, but we can have an influence on – and certainly are not shy of speaking to – individuals concerned, or making a general plea to parents or the boys that this type of behaviour is not appropriate,"

"Really, the parent is the first educator ... but we are not going to wipe our hands of it."

Rector Boyle may wish to therefore change his schools web site which blabbers-on about warm & fuzzy things such as:

“we take responsibility for our own development”.

“values and goals from the life and teaching of Jesus”

“ to have respect for God and others”

Had of course it have been mostly current and ex students of St Bedes that had have been involved with pulling an injured family from a burning-car that night, rather than street thuggery involving some 50 teenagers, I’m sure Rector Boyle and Catholics around town would be trumpeting how it was ‘their schooling and faith that made them better citizens.’

But in cases of adverse publicity such as this, we have merely encountered similar public-relations tactics used globally by Catholic institutions in pedophile cover-ups – in other words St Bedes College goes into ‘damage control mode.’

Don’t worry about the innocent victim who was knocked unconscious (not an Old Boy of the school by the way) who is lying in hospital after trying to intervene to save his friend from receiving a prolonged beating.

Rule One: Care about protecting the Churches ‘good name.’

Rule Two: Then just care about protecting the Schools ‘good name’

Rule Three: Never take responsibility – blame someone else (parents in this case)

Tell the Christchurch public 'none of this is down to what we taught them at school' – all those years of the so-called ‘religious education that moulds young men.’ is ineffective.

Above all protect the name of The Catholic Church and the school - even if this is tantamount to admitting St Bedes Colleges so-called ‘special character’ actually counts for jack-shit.

St Bedes religious education was wasted on large tracts of its student population.

Why didn’t Rector Boyle simply not come-out and tell The Press - when the school bell-rings at the end of the day at St Bedes – it’s every man for himself?

Footnote: If memory serves me right Mr Boyle was himself a victim of a random attack a couple of years back – the perpetrators of which, if my recollection is again correct, were never caught. So if Boyle was serious about ‘values’ and ‘respect’ amongst his charges – he now has the grand opportunity to show Christchurch he treats crime such as this seriously. That means suspending the guilty and not merely “speaking to them” and hoping over time the actions of his prodigies will be forgotten.

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