A CRANBOURNE primary school raised eyebrows during an assembly last week when its Islamic students were given the choice of leaving the room to avoid singing the Australian National Anthem.
But despite concern from parents, the principal of Cranbourne Carlisle Primary has strongly defended the school’s decision to allow its Islamic students to leave the Year 2-6 assembly, citing a religious month of mourning.
…“We were first welcomed to the assembly by two Grade 2 students, then as we were about to stand up for the national anthem, a teacher stepped in front of the school and asked that any student for whom this was against their culture to leave the hall and join a teacher waiting for them outside the hall,” she said.
“About 30-40 children left, all of Middle Eastern appearance.
“When we had finished singing the National Anthem, they all reappeared into the hall and sat with their classmates.
…But Cranbourne Carlisle Primary School Principal Cheryl Irving stood by the decision, telling Star News on Tuesday it was made in adherence with Muharram – the Islamic month of mourning associated with Shi’a Muslims in which they do not participate in “joyful events”.