Welsh teacher right to defend mainstream Christian beliefs
Christian groups have reacted with concern following the criticism of a Welsh head teacher who defended mainstream Christian beliefs in a school assembly. The Association of Christian Teachers in Wales and The Christian Institute have both defended the comments made by head teacher, Bill Beales.
In the assembly Mr Beales gave a speech defending religious liberty. He pointed out how Christians who express mainstream Christian views on moral issues are discriminated against and declared to be bigots. The moral issues he mentioned were simply illustrations.
The anti-religious intolerance which Mr Beales warned of in his speech is clearly demonstrated by the way he has been treated by the leader of Caerphilly council and others. The leader of Caerphilly Council, Lindsay Whittle, said the speech was “entirely inappropriate” and has called for Mr Beales to be suspended pending a full investigation.
Since Mr Beales was appointed to Cwmcarn High School in 1998 the proportion of pupils obtaining A*- C at GCSE has more than doubled from 25% to over 50%. The school is oversubscribed. It has twice won the “Most improved School Award” in South East Wales in two out of the last three years. The school has the best attendance record in the county and the lowest number of exclusions. Mr Beales has had a book of his assemblies published and he also runs a website which provides assemblies for teachers. The particular assembly which so upset the Leader of the Council has been on the website since March 4th.
Speaking today, Chris Hess, Chairman of The Association of Christian Teachers in Wales (of which Mr Beales is a member) said: “The calls for Mr Beales to be suspended are totally groundless. The law says that schools must have Christian assemblies. Mr Beales was doing no more than the law requires him to do: he was giving a Christian assembly. Now he has become the victim of a politically correct witch hunt.”
Director of The Christian Institute, Colin Hart, said: “the comments made by Mr Beales are totally consistent with mainstream Christian teaching. He is a head teacher in a school which is required by law to provide Christian assemblies. He took the assembly three weeks ago, but only now has it hit the headlines. He was defending religious liberty, it is ironic therefore that some members of the local authority are now calling for him to be suspended because they think Christian beliefs are ‘inappropriate’.”
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