The controversial trial of secular ethics classes has ''decimated'' Protestant scripture classes in the 10 NSW schools where it has been introduced as an alternative for non-religious children, with the classes losing about 47 per cent of enrolled students. The figure was calculated by the Sydney Anglican diocese, which is so concerned about the trial that it has created a fund-raising website to ''protect SRE'' (special religious education). The website says the values underpinning ''Australia's moral framework'' are under threat. The website, created by Youthworks, a department of the diocese, says the objective of the ethics trial is ''to not only remove Jesus Christ from the state school system, but from the consciousness and hearts of the next generation''.
''If we lose religious education, we risk losing true, fundamental 'ethics' that have underpinned Australia's moral framework for hundreds of years,'' the website says.
Dr Simon Longstaff, the executive director of the St James Ethics Centre, which is co-ordinating the trial, said any suggestion that the centre is ''working towards the removal of SRE classes from NSW state primary schools is false''.
COMMENT: Kids aren't stupid.