The Manawatu Standard gets into the act on secular education, reporting in shocked tones that Manawatu schools are beating prayer bans by delaying starting times, closing on Friday mornings to hold religious instruction sessions. But somehow missing from the story are the facts that
a) this is entirely legal under the law as it now stands; and
b) it is entirely in accordance with the Ministry of Education's new guidelines.
It would be nice if journalists would bother to get the basic facts right, before going off to report breathlessly on this issue. But instead, they seem to be doing their absolute best to generate a lot of hysteria over nothing. The government is not trying to ban prayer in schools - or at least, no more than it already is - and neither are they trying to introduce it. Instead, they've reminded schools of the law and their duty to comply with it and the Bill of Rights Act by not forcing religion on pupils. So what is the big deal here?