Fri | Sep 22, 2017

St Hilda's defends decision to strip head girl of post

Published:Wednesday | October 7, 2015 | 10:05 PM

St Hilda’s Diocesan High School has responded to accusations by the mother of a student at the Brown’s Town-based institution that the school discriminated against her daughter when she was relieved of the post of head girl .

Rhonda Clarke is contending that her daughter, Jade Bascoe, was stripped of the position because she is a member of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation.

In a release this afternoon, St Hilda's said the appointment of Jade Bascoe as head girl was rescinded given the potential conflict that such position would pose, given that she is Jehovah's Witness.

The statement said the school has never asked students of other denominational persuasions to assume duties that are in conflict with the beliefs and practice of their faith.

SEE STATEMENT FROM ST. HILDA’S DIOCESAN HIGH SCHOOL:

St. Hilda’s Diocesan High School believes in religious freedom; and, accordingly, our student body includes many students who are members of other denominations. 

Established in 1906 as an institution of the Anglican Church, St. Hilda’s offers a broad and balanced education, while at the same time, instilling strong Christian principles.

We have never asked students of other persuasions to assume duties that are in conflict with the beliefs and practice of their faith. 

However, the Head Girl, as the leader of the student government is required to perform duties supportive of tenets of the Anglican tradition, which are deeply embedded in the operational policies and procedures of this educational institution.

As an institution operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, St. Hilda’s is required to participate in national and civic
functions and activities, such as the Independence Flag Raising Ceremonies and National Heroes Day celebrations which contribute to the development of our children as future citizens.

The inability of a Head Girl to participate in these events because of religious beliefs would restrict and negatively impact our School’s engagement with the wider community of which it is an integral part.

Given the potential conflict that the exercise of such duties would pose for her and the institution, it was thought that it would be unwise to put her in that position.

Therefore it was decided to rescind this student’s appointment as Head Girl.