Recently on the ABC news, the Catholic Church (in this case its education system) was depicted in an unfavourable light.
In regard to the refugee question, two interstate Catholic schools were shown to have encouraged children to write discourteous and downright abusive letters to Senator Vanstone, to whom an unreserved apology is now warranted.
The school children involved obviously were unable, or could not be expected, to discern the big picture of illegal entry which also may be unclear to the teachers and parents who condoned or promoted this type of behaviour.
This should have been explained carefully before being taken on, particularly using children as a political stunt, as also is the case with the aspiring entrants.
Is any mention made of the already accepted refugees (yes - with children too!) who are languishing in camps overseas because they have been jostled "out of the queue" by others who have enough money, chutzpah and a complete disregard of another country's laws, to put themselves and their children in unsafe, leaky boats heading to either the bottom of the sea, or if they are lucky to make it, to a barbed wire enclosed camp for an assessment that may, or may not, go their way?
After all, are we not, a "soft target" to these people because we are seen as a generous and open-hearted nation open to exploitation of these qualities.
In regard to these little people, is this type of disrespectful behaviour and name-calling tolerated in their classroom/playground? Is it encouraged at home? Is this responsible behaviour on the part of the adults involved? Should other parents be paying for an "education" containing elements such as this, including the elimination of basic good manners and common courtesy?
Finally what was evident in the letters quoted from was a poor standard of writing, presentation and comprehension. Perhaps time devoted to enhancing these basic skills would be better spent in classrooms than the firing off of ill-informed, abusive letters.
MAUREEN FEDERICO (MRS)
Frankston South, Vic