Excerpted from The Daily Mail: Parents have been left fuming after discovering a history and geography teacher has been reading excerpts of the Koran to their children at a Catholic boy’s high school.
Jesse Pittard, who teaches both subjects at Christian Brothers’ High School, in Lewisham in Sydney’s inner-west, has come under fire from parents for reading out sections of the Koran to his year seven students at the start of the day during home room and before classes.
Parents and students told Daily Mail Australia Mr Pittard began reading excerpts to students at the beginning of the semester in July and claimed he has since read ‘more than half’ the Koran to them.
Parents are particularly angry they were not told about the Koran readings and questioned why the Muslim holy book needed to be read outside of religion classes.
One mother said her son revealed during a conversation that Mr Pittard was reading the Koran to him before his geography class.
‘We don’t send our kids to an Islamic school to listen to the Koran and it’s not a religion lesson, it’s a geography lesson, so how does that relate to geography?’ she said.
Mr Pittard has chosen not to comment on the matter.
The school’s principal, Brother Paul Conn, confirmed Mr Pittard had read passages from the Koran before several year seven classes, and said he had received three emails and one phone call from concerned parents asking for him to investigate the matter.
Mr Conn has since spoken to concerned parents. He said further discussion of the Koran in class has stopped.
‘I … clarified to all concerned that as a Catholic school, we are one hundred percent committed to our Catholic faith, and that our strategic plan and Religious Education Program has the Catholic faith as its core,’ he said.
‘Being a culturally diverse school, we are open to informed and balanced discussion on all faiths, but our commitment in terms of faith education is to the Catholic Faith.
‘I spoke to the teacher concerned, who is a Christian, and he now understands that all beginning of lesson prayer at CBHS Lewisham is Catholic. Keep reading