But chapains are so limited in what they can talk about, they are not allowed to teach RE and aren't allowed to talk about God really at all. But, yes, the studies do come fro a Christian perspective. Doesn't mean they can't help all kids though, if they are the right person.
People (who just happen to be Religious - any Religion, not just Christianity) counselling children, with appropriate qualifications under their belt - fine.
A Multi million dollar fund especially for Chaplains who may not have the correct training...not so fine.
I don't believe religion has a place in public school, no. But if it is going to be there, it should be optional. And a child who needs counseling should get it from a counselor. Not a chaplain. Thinking back to high school, had my school counselor been a chaplain I'd have never gone to them. I would have felt too uncomfortable with the idea and the issues I had at that age would have gone on without help. I can see pretty clearly that I'd have gone down a very bad path indeed and my life (if I still had one) would have been extremely different. I'm not being dramatic, it's just simple truth. And I doubt I'm unique either. Many teens struggling with religion or avoiding it would feel the same. The two things just aren't them same IMO. Religion is not a substitute for proper mental health care.
Also, we are a secular country, governmentally speaking. How can we place one religion above another in this way? Are we going to publicly fund monks, imams and rabbis to counsel children too?
I am not comfortable with chaplains in schools or RE in secular public schools. I grew up in a very damaging church in my experience with the majority of religions even the well meaning ones has been a negative one. So yes I am fairly biased. I would much prefer my child to have access to a trained, child psychologist/counselor with experience of a wide variety of familie structures, from different backgrounds and religions. I really worry about the agendas of the chaplains and the churches they are affiliated with. In my case at high-school I was very confused about my sexuality and I think a religious chaplain could have done alot of harm considering the stance of most religions on homosexuality. I think it is important for people to be trained properly in psychology and areas of human sexuality, gender identification ect and I worry that any religious chaplains might harm these kids.
Not the ones I have encountered. And, to be honest, youth work qualifications aren't worth the paper they're written on. And I say this as a person who has worked with youth workers and someone who is privy to what constitutes a Cert IV Youth Work in Australia. Quite frankly, it's alarming.Yep, chaplains are generally qualified in Youth Work.
I think having tertiary qualified (and accountable) counsellors in schools rather than chaplains, rabbis, immams, whatever...is better for the future of any child given that correct guidance in terms of employment and adjustment to real life would have helped me in a myriad of ways had I access to this at high school.
No matter how much they think they are the right person for the job they will have their own personal crisis when they need to support a child in crisis whose problem is seen as a mortal sin.
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