Brought to their knees?

30th April 2004 at 01:00
The time is fast approaching when we shall discover how the Scottish Executive plans to observe religious observance in schools. Meanwhile researchers have been hard at it discovering what the public think (page three).

More than 1,000 of them lost no time in letting us all know, particularly young people. One, indeed, seemed to object to the notion of observance:

"There's no chance to take part at all. We just have to sit silently and listen."

School chaplains are up against it, apparently, unless they are "brave and streetwise". According to another youth forum member: "Sometimes it feels like they couldn't think of anything to say, so they just talk about the same old things." Chaplains? Surely not.

Then again, chaplains might be more interesting than "PSD assemblies", as some describe the special outings for personal and social development.

"I don't like it when they just go on about rules, or when the police come and talk to us at assembly about behaviour," was another comment.

If one young observer's experience is typical, religious observance may not be long for this world. "The headteacher sometimes talks about not smoking and dropping litter. Sometimes a minister comes and tells us stories."

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