Let’s Talk: Did this school make the right decision? 663



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A primary school in Melbourne has been slammed for reportedly allowing Muslim students leave assembly before the school sang the national anthem.

It is currently Muharram, the traditional Islamic month of mourning, and Shi’a Muslims do not partake in joyous events such as singing, Sky News reports.

Cranbourne Carlisle Primary School Principal Cheryl Irving conformed that, “Prior to last week’s Years 2-6 assembly, in respect of this religious observance, students were given the opportunity to leave the hall before music was played.

“The students then rejoined the assembly at the conclusion of the music,” she said.

Media reports today are saying the children “walked out on the National Anthem” however the reality is more complicated than that.

In an effort to run a truly multi-cultural school, the principal made the decision to let the children leave the hall, if they wanted to, and she has been backed up by the Department of Education.

“The Department supports our schools to be inclusive for all students, this includes understanding or respecting religious cultural observances,” a statement issued to the Herald Sun reads.

Islamic Council of Victoria secretary Kuranda Seyit said, “People need to remember that these Muslim children are not against the Australian national anthem but are not allowed to be deemed to be celebrating.”

However, Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie told Seven news, “I find these schools that are allowing this to happen disgusting.”

“We should all be proud to be Australians and proud to sing the national anthem,” she told the Herald Sun.

One woman who was watching her two grandchildren’s assembly at the school said she felt affronted when 30 or so students walked out of the hall.

“A teacher came forward and said all those who feel it’s against their culture may leave the room,” she said.

“I felt ‘you don’t walk out on my national anthem’.”


Let’s talk: how do you think you would have reacted to this happening in your grandchildren’s school? Would you respect the Islamic tradition or expect the students to sing the anthem? Do you think the school has made the right decision to let this happen?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. There is some controversy about this subject, these children are adhering to their religious practices and this was endorsed by the school. I am an Atheist but I am very at ease with anyone who has religion, I am sure it must be a comfort to them. But I feel all religions should be practiced at home. School should always be for school work if you want your children to have the best chance in life.

    12 REPLY
    • well said, I am not getting into this I flatly refuse to bash children and this is what this article will turn to be

    • sweetie I don’t even want to be commenting on this subject, if it involves kids it goes way outside my comfort zone, children do as their parents instruct them.

    • If this is because of a religious requirement to not sing at all then fine. But perhaps they could just have sat/stood quietly instead.

      1 REPLY
      • Since this WASN’T a religious assembly then ALL children should be expected to attend. During the assembly the Australian National Anthem is sung. IF, as in this case, there’s a religious festival which prevents the children from joining in (singing, in this case) then there is still NO REASON for them to be TOTALLY excluded as even their PRESENCE, OBSERVING the Anthem brings them that bit closer to the community. I am an “alien” in my country of residence (a Scotsman living in the Republic of Ireland) but wherever I am I RESPECT the National Anthem – even though I can’t pronounce the Gaelic – by standing silently when the Anthem is played/sung. What’s wrong with expecting THESE youngsters to do the same?

    • No matter what your opinion is and I have read some disgusting comments on this post, the ultimate responsibility lays with the School, they gave permission for these children to leave but people are tending to over look that and blame the kids

    • Agree with the points above, don’t we all go to weddings, christenings or baptisms when invited by friends or families and we are not always the same religion or culture. It is a mark of not only respect but friendship to take part in something you are invited to. If you are totallly anti something you don’t go. However this is a public school and the parents if they wish their children to attend this school should be made aware that their children have to take part in all school activities, if not actively but by simple being and being silent if necessarily IT IS RUDE TO WALK OUT.

    • It would have been far more sensible if the kids had gone to their classrooms instead of going to assembly

  2. Very big mistake, as I’ve been hearing for the past 2 days it is not a requirement of their Religion to not participate in the National Anthem, so for the school to make such a decision they are setting unnecessary presidents which will only lead to more division in our communities in the future.

    15 REPLY
    • No that’s not so Leanna, I was listening to a Muslim man yesterday and he said only certain type’s of music and that there were no rules excluding the National Anthem of any Country, and that the children should be treated the same as any child in school, other than (Ramadan)

    • Does it really matter, if they had asked that the Anthem not be sung then that would have been a problem, they just asked to be excluded, during this time in their religious year, presumably they are there for the anthem at other times of the year.

    • The excuse is they “can’t participate in joyful singing” because of a religious month. The point is, they could have stayed and shown respect for their country even if they chose not to sing. Will be interesting to see what happens when that month is up, but I’m waiting for the next “religious month”..there’s ALWAYS some excuse or other.

    • Victoria Alexandra D’Arienzo Thats exactly what the principal was doing… showing respect. Problem is much of Australia doesn’t know what it looks like

      1 REPLY
      • reReRemember , RESPECT goes both ways , if we are expected to respect the muslim view , them we should be able to expect that they Respect our view as well , after all , they chose to live in this country .

    • I’m a Kiwi, we fought with you in WW1 and WW2, this minority should accept except your different Religiions, Customs and Cultures why should the majority surrrender to the minority. Just me but I see Australia, as a mulitculticural country, not lead by a minority. Go tell your shopping centres to Celebrate “Christmas” not “Happy Holidays”

    • I agree about Christmas Fred. I also advise those Kiwis in Au not to get caught littering as you might get locked up and deported back to NZ lol

    • Do you condemn Jehovah’s Witnesses for not participating in school ANZAC ceremonies? They don’t stay “out of respect”.

  3. Those children are Australian supposedly… Its ths Australian National anthem. So if no celebrating is allowed this month, they could choose not to sing , but still be there as part of the school community for the proclamation and affirmation of the National Anthem. That’s what we do when we sing it. Affirm that we are one nation with many differences . That’s what makes us unique.

  4. It is the national anthem. Nothing to do with religion

    6 REPLY
    • I heard that it was not about the anthem but they were not allowed to listen to music or sing for a period of time. As far as I understand it is not all the time. (?Ramadan)

    • That’s correct Diane, and it is only certain types of music that they are not allowed to listen to, I was listening to a Muslim man yesterday and he said the school should not have made that decision because the children are more likely to use it as an excuse if they don’t want to participate in something.

    • The customs are strange to us but they are not strange to these children and they will have been instructed by their parents on what to do. Don’t forget we are talking about children

    • Stuff Ramadan. Nothing to do with Australia… I understood that they came here to get away from all that shit…

  5. It was the National Anthem not a hymn! If you want to live in our Nation be part of it and respect our traditions

    4 REPLY
  6. No it is not right if we go to there country we have to obey there laws,if they don’t like our customs send them back to were they came from.

    2 REPLY
    • We live in New Zealand and I’m sick and tired of the Asian and others coming here taking all our jobs and giving nothing back,they send all the money they earn back home to bring out more of there family.There used to be lots of jobs around but since the government started letting in people there harder to get

  7. Well its making it worse for these poor kids. It has singled them out and kids being kids will use this against them. Its the kids that will suffer.

  8. Wrong on so many levels!!!! We are supposed to be a united country Couldn’t they just be allowed to discretely not sing??

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