Australia: Catholic high school teacher reads Koran before class prayers, parents fuming

Source: Sydney Christian Brothers High School teacher reads sections of the Koran before class prayers | Daily Mail Online

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.

Koran-reading teacher Jesse Pittard

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.

But he denied the readings had been going since the beginning of the school semester and had only happened ‘for a couple of days’ and were ‘supposed to be an academic exercise’.

‘Unfortunately, due to the timing of the exercise being with the normal beginning of [Catholic] lesson prayer, some confusion did exist,’ he said.

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.

‘He never intended to do anything differently, but his timing did cause some confusion. No further discussion on the Koran will be happening as no further need exists.’

One of Mr Pittard’s students said the teacher had read the English version of the Koran before geography class.

‘We don’t even listen, because it’s so long,’ the year seven student said.

‘We only do [Catholic] prayers in religion classes, but for one geography lesson we were waiting for about seven to ten minutes while he was reading the Koran.’

‘He gives us a demerit if any of us tell him not to read it … He has read more than half the Koran,’ another student said.

However, the principal denied any student had received demerit points for asking to not listen to the Koran.

‘One of the parents who contacted me was concerned about the issuing of a demerit. It was clarified that this was definitely not for anything to do with the reading of the Koran but for a completely separate classroom behaviour issue.

Now that he’s been outed, there’s no need for more Koran readings…until it happens again.

4 thoughts on “Australia: Catholic high school teacher reads Koran before class prayers, parents fuming

  1. When they get caught they always try to weazzel out by lying. Why would a Koran even be allowed in a Catholic school? Don’t they have a Bible or other religious material to read. Has this guy read the parts where Islam calls for the killing of Non believers. If he wants to speak about Islam in his geography classes, why not talk about all the killing Muslims are doing to each other and to Christians.

  2. It makes me lose respect for Australians. I thought they were showing muslims the way out. I certainly would not want my kids exposed to islamic thought in this manner. That teacher should be severely reptrimanded

  3. What a moron. They do what they think they can get by with. This has been going on for years ? and no one has said anything? Rediculous.

  4. This whole episode sounds fishy to me! First, he’s only done this “a couple of times”, then it’s like he’s actually read HALF THE KORAN. Then the kids say he dishes out demerits, if they don’t want to listen, AND HE DENIES IT! Then the kids say he reads this muzzlum crap on and on and on, UNTIL THEY CAN’T STAND TO LISTEN ANYMORE. I think he deserves a lot more than a reprimand–I’D SAY, GIVE HIM HIS WALKING PAPERS!!!!! If I had a child who attended that Catholic school (which is by no means a FREE PUBLIC SCHOOL) I would consider legal action against the teacher and the principal, on grounds of Deceptive Indoctrination of an Aberrant Anti-Christian Heresy! What this teacher is doing is illegal by any Catholic standards! These parents are paying good money to have their children educated with Biblical and Christian (Catholic) values! Reading devotionals and “prayers” from a book which teaches the annihilation of Christians and Jews is NOT one of those values!!!!! These parents have every GOOD reason to be “fuming”! What’s next?–A visit to the local mosque and a recitation of the MUZZLUM “prayers”????? According to every muzzlum on the planet–THAT MAKES YOU FOREVER A MUZZLUM!!!!!

If sharia law continues spreading, you'll have less and less freedom of speech - so speak while you can!

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