Bible-class stance dismays father


State school put 7-year-old in ‘naughty corner’ when parents wanted her pulled out of religious studies.

A couple who took their daughter out of a school class based on the Bible were dismayed to find her left alone in a classroom “naughty corner” with a book during the 35-minute lesson.

Jeff McClintock posted a photograph of his 7-year-old daughter Violet on the Secular Education Network Facebook page showing the little girl kneeling on the floor next to a rubbish bin as she read the book, at Red Beach School, Auckland.

Mr McClintock said he was told the school had an alternative programme for children who opted out of the weekly Values in Action class.

When he arrived one day to check on her he found her in the corner children are sent to for being naughty.

“Last year my daughter spent a total of 4.5 days sitting in this corner.

“Also bear in mind she’s in earshot of her friends singing, doing fun activities and hearing stories.”

He said that his daughter had “promised not to be naughty again” when she returned home after one of the opt-out sessions.

Written By: Vaimoana Tapaleao and Natalie Akoorie
continue to source article at


  1. After reading this article and thinking about the name of the course, “Values in Action,” I started laughing derisively.  Children learn more through first-hand example probably than any other way, and this class demonstrates clearly, in action, how to demean or shun anyone who is different!  Not exactly the values I want my children to learn!

  2. Is anyone really surprised at this.As a kid at a catlick primary school(admittedly many years ago now) i had to stand up and admit every Monday morning that I had not been to church the day before.One of the greasy old priests attached to the school would come into the class each Monday morning to specifically ask the question.I was the only one to admit,but i know others who did not have the balls to do it.I received no support from the teacher and was generally observed with narrowed eyes and pursed lips.However when I passed the eleven plus exam and went to the local grammar school i was used as an example of the success of catlick education.To this day(I am 59 years old) there is not an organisation that i hate more, or a cleric i detest more than a catlick priest.It’s funny,but George Pell, senior cleric in Australia is exactly the type of arrogant,sinister,self-serving, lying, slimy example of whom there were so many in my youth and he is being suggested as a potential pope.He would be a perfect choice!


    What can one say, but, their “Values in Action”.

    It sounds very like church “values” and “celibate” priests!

    Chanting, singing and preaching about “moral values” – and then getting on with their selfish vindictiveness with airs of superiority, – with a bit of prayer for forgiveness and confession thrown in – to do a reset on the conscience  from time to time.

  4. Jeff is a member of the New Zealand Secular Education Group who oppose the continued use of Religious Instruction Classes. This story has been a real coup for our campaign and has reignited the debate in the media over here. We would appreciate any support you can give.This is the link to the SEN web page -… And this is the link to the SEN face book page -… If anyone reading this wishes to make their feelings on this subject known to the school’s Board of Trustees, they can e-mail them using either of the two following e-mail addresses – OR Regards Paul Bennett

  5. I found out about the “christian living class” taught in my sons year 6 class I removed my son as soon as I found out about it, and spoke to the “teacher” expressing my displeasure, two letters to the bot, nil reply as yet, I have confirmed they have received the letters but no response. I have spoken to other parents and they too are not pleased with the issue, esp when we found out the “teacher” was giving out sweets when they answered questions.  My next step is a formal complaint to Human rights commission, the issue of god in out public schools has gone on for far too long and must end for humanities sake.

  6. The Poll associated with the article is interesting:

    Should religious studies be taught at school?

    13650–13700 votes

    Yes – as long as it’s balanced and covers all religions. 21%-
    Yes – but only if parents give their consent. 15%-
    Yes – but only as a very minor part of the curriculum. 10%-
    No – leave it up to parents and churches. 54%
    The photo that Appyopolis found makes you cringe. Despicable people that do that to a child. I wish her and her family well.

  7. Had a similar experience in my naive youth when my daughter came home form Catlik pre-school worried because “Sister Breda says she’ll put pepper in my mouth if I say bad words” 
    Sister Breda received quite a few bad words from me; really I would have liked to offer her some pepper…

  8. Here in the UK the child is usually brought to the door when you go to collect them. Also taking a camera into a school, parent or not would not be permissible. This looks very much like a posed photo taken for propaganda purposes. If I found my child in that situation I certainly would not subject her to more humiliation by asking them to remain there whilst I took a photograph to post on facebook. 

  9. The reason the schools like the Christians to come in is because it provides babysitters for the classes and  gives the over-worked teachers time to have meetings.   But the people who come in and take these classes are, according to a friend who knows the organisation, young earth creationists and anti-science.  They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near school grounds. 

  10. Things are far less formal here it seems. I live across the road from my old primary school (I’m at university now) and I’m sure I could go over and say hi to my old teachers during lunch hour if I wanted to. Here in NZ, I don’t see a parent being barred from entering the classroom during class time to see their child if they were respectful about it. The school I went to had ‘syndicates’ instead of individual classrooms and I have a feeling other schools may have ‘syndicates’ (instead of having several classes for children of the same age, there’s just one building split in to several areas) for children aged similar to the one in this story, so it is a lot easier for a parent to be able to come in and check on their child without disrupting teaching because of the large, open-plan, style of syndicates.

    Judging from what I’ve seen on TV (thus, this is a generalisation and apologies if it is not in fact accurate), our schools are a lot more expansive and accessible than some of those in UK cities where schools may have to build buildings with several stories rather than single story buildings spread out over a larger piece of land like they are here. In that sense, we don’t really have a single entrance or ‘door’ you can drop your child off at, there are usually multiple entrances that are quite open and we don’t have large gates or other security features that can limit entrance or even prevent entrance at certain hours. There’s nothing stopping me from walking in to the grounds of any school I’ve ever been to as there are no gates (due to schools generally being spread out over land rather than built in multistory buildings).

    The schools I went to also had large input from the community and parents would often help out around the school with informal or formal jobs. It would be common to see parents of my friends at school during class time helping out where they can (helping certain children who have learning difficulties, organising lunch time sport, running errands for the school, helping with organising classroom activities, supervising, etc)

    As for cameras, as far as I know they are perfectly ok. Whether a student has a camera or a parent has a camera, as long as they’re acting responsibly with it I’m sure there wouldn’t be a problem with it here.
    I can definitely see the picture linked as being legitimate. If you’re a parent that goes to parent-teacher interviews, hangs around at extracurricular activities (which are often held at the school, like football practice), or lends a helping hand when teachers need supervisors for a trip to the beach or something, you could easily walk in to the school without problem to go see your child if it was important. If you’re an unfamiliar face, all that would happen is someone might stop and ask who you are or if there’s something they can help you with.

  11. New Zealand may well differ, but schools in Australia now restrict access to members of the general public to administration areas on normal days, and cameras are prohibited even at open events.  It is more stringently enforced in larger, metropolitan schools than smaller, rural areas, but apparently enough security issues and privacy concerns have been raised over the years to make it department policy.

  12. Wow, just when I think Christian behaviour can’t get any lower, I read a story like this.

    One would think that teachers would have the intellect to treat children with respect and decency, given what we know about the damaging effects this type of segregation can instill. I cannot get over how this school interprets “The Rules”.  It’s almost as if the writers of the ’64 Education Act should have included a line that says. “Christians must behave with decency toward all students,” just so Christians would know they aren’t supposed to be arseholes!

    Really, what kind of people get hired and are given access to vulnerable children like this?  I have no doubt the teacher, principal and school board deliberately set out to make negative examples of opted-out children. If this was my child I’d be beside myself.  There would be some heads rolling!

    Clearly, the Christian desire is to destroy all that is not as hateful as its followers.  Teachers are meant to educate children, not bully them.

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