Parents became concerned after high school students were given a mission to stop people "just like Israel Folau" losing their jobs.

A Sydney school has apologised after an assignment was issued to year nine students to contact their local member about supporting "the face of religious freedom" Israel Folau.

The former Wallaby is in the midst of a court case with Rugby Australia who cancelled his contract over numerous social media posts including one where that stated gay people, and other, would be destined for hell.

As part of the task, students were told: "If we do not act now, many may lose their jobs - just like Israel Folau".


The task was given to students at St Patrick's Marist College Dundas, in the city's west.

"Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta has been made aware of an assignment … that has caused concern for some parents at the school," relieving executive director, Sue Walsh, said in a statement to today.

"The topic was religious freedom and freedom of expression."

Folau and his wife Maria leave Kenthurst Uniting Church in June. Photo / News Corp Australia
Folau and his wife Maria leave Kenthurst Uniting Church in June. Photo / News Corp Australia

Ms Walsh said the Catholic schools within their district are places where complex issues can be discussed, in an environment "where each voice can be heard, and every view expressed".

But this was not the case for the year nine task.

"A number of the sentiments in the covering letter for the assignment do not represent the views of the Diocese of Parramatta, its schools or Marist Schools Australia," Ms Walsh said.

"The assignment has been withdrawn and students will be given the opportunity to complete a new assessment that is consistent with contemporary approaches to learning and teaching."

She apologised to parents and students for any concerns created by the assessment and any associated communication.

RA chief executive Raelene Castle announced Folau's contract was terminated in May. Photo / Getty Images
RA chief executive Raelene Castle announced Folau's contract was terminated in May. Photo / Getty Images

The assignment encouraged students to do a number of things including research the charter of rights that exists in other countries to express their civil rights, Seven News reported.

It said freedom is being "attacked" in the workplace, schools, universities and on the streets.

"Your mission is to present to your Local Member of federal parliament, a letter expressing deep concern for the future of protection of religion freedom and freedom of speech," the cover letter said.

The assignment said Folau — "who stands as the face of religious freedom" — had become the "most discussed and divisive figure" in Australia in recent weeks.

"If we do not act now, our future rights will be depleted and many will face tough sanctions and may even lose their job just like Israel Folau," the school task stated, further encouraging students to please accept the invitation to write the "very important letter" to their local MP.

Rugby Australia (RA) terminated Folau's multimillion-dollar contract in May after a tribunal found he had breached its code of conduct with an Instagram post telling gay people, along with others "living in sin", that they would go to hell unless they repented.

The former Wallabies player has repeatedly stood by the post and is taking RA and the NSW Waratahs to court arguing he was unlawfully terminated.

He launched his claim under Section 772 of the Fair Work Act, which details all the reasons an employer cannot use to terminate a worker's contract. Religion is one of them.

Folau wants $10.6 million in damages and his rugby contracts reinstated.

RA chief executive Raelene Castle previously said it was an employment matter and does not concern Folau's religious beliefs or ability to express them freely.

If mediation is unsuccessful between the parties, they will return to the Federal Circuit Court on December 17 for a directions hearing ahead of a trial anticipated in February 2020.