Sweden cracks down on religious influences in schools

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This story is shocking, I was going to just post a few of the highlights but the whole stinking thing is highlights. I am sure we in the USA will see the same thing down the road unless we wake up and stand up. I find myself a bit torn though, I think I am more an open access guy, I think an open forum in the schools and public arena should be allowed but I stop short of having state sponsored prayer or education in public schools. I do not want some whack job trying to teach my child about my religious faith, I can do that thank you , but I do expect we have a constitutional right to free and open access for all points of view, not just mine.

BUT please let it be student lead and student expressed. Do not try teach my kid your idea of what my faith is.

STOCKHOLM (AFP) — The Swedish government on Monday presented a series of proposals banning public and independent schools from introducing religious elements into their classes except during religion lessons.

Religious elements “can take place … but only outside of coursework. Teaching should not be influenced” by religious beliefs, Swedish Education Minister Jan Bjoerklund told reporters.

He said religion could still be studied at school as a separate subject but other classes could in no way be influenced by religious convictions.

For example, the origin of human life would have to be explained from a scientific point of view and not a religious one, he said.

The Swedish government also plans to allocate additional funds to carry out controls on schools, sometimes unannounced.

The measures presented Monday would be included in new education legislation which is to be presented to parliament for a vote.

They would apply to public schools as well as independent schools, which also receive funding from the state. Private schools are exempt.

Sweden has some 800 independent schools, both primary and secondary. According to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, about 10 percent of these schools have a religious profile.

Bjoerklund said the initiative would help improve transparency about the financing of these schools.

He cited the case of an independent Muslim school that had received financial aid from a fundamentalist Islamic organisation in Saudi Arabia.

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