November 2014: Religious jokes come under the spotlight

SIX students travelled to London on a whirlwind trip to join a conference on Religious Studies.

The Year 10 RS ambassadors from Haslingden High School visited the capital and went to the CAN Mezzanine where they met ambassadors from five other schools across the country. They left the school at 7.30am and returned at 9.30pm.

Erin Wilson, 14, said: “We debated the subject of whether it is right to make a religious joke.

“We all worked independently with students from the other schools to put our views across.

“Before we went I would have said that it was not right to make such a joke but, after being at the conference, I now think it might be ok depending on what is being said and who the audience is, as long as you have boundaries.”

Hayley Vick, 15, said: “We also had a comedian talk to us – Sara Pascoe. She explained how when telling jokes, not just about religion but jokes in general, you have to be careful how you tell them and who is going to be affected by them.”

The conference concluded with the students saying how they were going to put into practice what they had learnt.

Erin said: “We said that we would like to introduce a ‘Thought for the month’ in primary schools where we suggest an idea and then the pupils complete a series of activities around it.

“We are thinking about how to take RS out of the classroom. It is not just about religion, it is about philosophy, ethics and good and evil.”