Humanists UK has given its backing to parents who are looking to challenge daily acts of Christian worship in state schools.
Lee and Lizanne Harris exercised their legal right to withdraw their children from school assemblies but now want the primarily Christian content ended, and have been given permission by the High Court to challenge this.
They are supported by Humanists UK, which wants to end Christian assemblies while also campaigning against a parental opt-out on sex and relationships education for children as young as five.
While it is not unreasonable for parents to want to remove their children from certain lessons, The Christian Institute has claimed this freedom should not mean schools themselves are prevented from religious teaching or celebrating events in the Christian calendar.
Ciarán Kelly, spokesman for The Christian Institute, said, ‘Parents are responsible for their own children’s care. It’s right they should be allowed to opt out of certain, limited, elements of school life.
‘The freedom to withdraw from sex education and religious education is well established. Humanists UK claims it wants to remove Christian content from assemblies so as not to “exclude” anyone’.
Moreover, he pointed to the inconsistency of the humanist position, which wants sex education to be mandatory.
Mr Kelly added, ‘At the same time it campaigns for mandatory LGBT content in sex education lessons, with no right of withdrawal, which will leave many feeling excluded. The position is inconsistent, to say the least’.