Armadale Christian College investigated by WA Education Department for "sick" homophobic homework
Western Australia’s Department of Education Services has been ordered by the state’s Education Minister to investigate a Perth religious school for setting homework asking students whether homosexuality is “the sickest sin”, according to local media reports.
The Sunday Times reported on August 27 how 14 and 15-year-old students in Year 10 at Armadale Christian College had been given assignments home in June which seemingly compel students to form discriminatory conclusions.
Questions as part of the homework included, “Is homosexuality the sickest sin there is?”, while another asked students to ascertain what God’s statements on homosexuality were before directing them to a Bible quote suggesting it is an “abomination”.
The homework, given to students as part of the school’s Religion and Life syllabus, became public and known to the media following outrage by some parents and relatives.
The state’s Education Minister Liz Constable has since ordered a review of the outer Perth school to establish whether it is “satisfying registration requirements”.
"(This is) to assess the lesson content being used by the school in relation to their Religion and Life syllabus,'' Dr Constable said last Friday.
The given homework also seems to go against the school’s own Vision and Philosophy statement:
“As Christian educators we believe children should be guided and nurtured to young adulthood in a way that recognises their worth as individuals … It means our definition of success moves beyond the parameters of academic excellence, and aims to ensure that each student recognises they are a unique individual with intrinsic worth,” the statement reads.
Following inquiries by The Sunday Times, Stephen Lee, chief executive officer of Swan Christian Education Association (SCEA), which administers the Armadale college, said he would “review the use of this material” and teaching materials used at other SCEA schools.
James Notman, a relative of a student at the school, said the assignment was “extremist” and could affect the mental wellbeing of people already going through the tribulations of adolescence.
"I also went to a Christian private school, but what we were taught about homosexuality was that we should all love and accept everyone as the same, because it doesn't matter whether you're gay, straight, male, female, we're all humans and we're all equal," he told The Sunday Times.
The controversy follows on the back of reports earlier this month that gay and lesbian students at the leading St Mary’s Anglican Girls School in Perth have been prevented by school authorities for almost a decade to attend formals with their same-sex partners.