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Is this prayer in school?

I just attended m DS' thanksgiving feast in his classroom. The class first performed some poems and sang some songs. Then they recited two "blessings" at the end with the teacher.
The first one, they were told to bow their heads and fold their hands....recited some things about the pilgrims, but ended with amen.
The second blessing was about thanking the earth for our food, and ended with, "and we thank God for all that we have."

Being an atheist, I have issues with this. This teacher also has a Samaritans Ministries collection cup in the class.
What do you think? Does this cross the line of prayer in public school? Would you address the issue with the school itself?
Please don't bash me...I am truly torn as to how to deal with this. It is upsetting to me.

Answer Question
 
sahmamax2

Asked by sahmamax2 at 2:08 PM on Nov. 23, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 37 (88,208 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • Sounds like it to me. B ut we also say God in the pledg of allegiance.
    Imogine

    Answer by Imogine at 2:09 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • I can deal with the pledge. Having my DS pray to a God without my prior knowledge upsets me greatly. I will introduce him to others beliefs, and when he is old enough he can practice what he wishes.
    sahmamax2

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 2:12 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • Why not let this be the time to start introducing him to other's beliefs? Explain that you don't believe in it, but that others do and that when he is older, he can choose what he wants to believe in.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:08 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • little story that is not meant to bash. When my daughter was in 2nd grade the school did a Christmas program. DD wanted to be Mary. I received a note asking if this was ok. I said it was OK but wonder how "Mary" could be in a public school program.

    The program went through every holiday. Christmas was last. When Jesus was mentioned there was a hush over the audience and I said the ONLY scene that is going to be complained about is the Christian holiday one.

    Sure enough, walking to my car parents were complaining about Jesus being taught at a public school. Personally I felt it to be a watered down version but it sent a few parents into a frenzy.

    I didn't care about my Christian Kid learning about pagan, Muslim or Jewish holidays. I would have gladly singed the paper for them to play the role in scene. After all I let my Catholic daughter play a Jewish woman
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:24 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • i dunno how old your son is, but i would ask him what he thought first. ask him if they have "blessings" often in class or if the teacher asks them to contribute to the collection cup. how does he feel about the teacher? if you go to the school & she gets suspended or whatever the punishment is, would your son know it was you & possibly be upset at you or would he understand?

    it sounds a little iffy to me...kinda like the teacher was trying to get a prayer in under the disguise of Thanksgiving. it could also be harmless. i wouldnt worry unless the teacher continues or has been doing this the whole year. i would keep an eye/ear on the class just to make sure this isnt common.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 3:29 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • was the child really praying? or parroting what he was told to say? Did he learn about God or was he playing a role in scit that was used to act out what we believed happened during the pilgrim and Indian times? Why did you mention the cup? do you feel the teacher should not be allowed to have anything pointing out her religion? do you know if this cup was given to her by another student as a gift? Is it just a cup she likes to drink water out of or just a gift she has left at school? Does it matter either way? Would feel the need to mention the cup if it had stars and moons? or a picture of a Muslim Mosque? What about if it had a the coexist sign on it? Is this something you really need to fight? do you know all the facts? If you said yes to the last two question by all means go to the school and pick a fight. or as said by a previous poster, use it as a learning tool.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:31 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • I say this year it's over and done but tell the school that you hate/don't believe in God that's it. Then they might just choose for you DS to be excluded from certain activities. Seriously if you don't believe in God what is a prayer going to hurt don't you do Santa Clause in your house? What's the difference between that if you do? Also it's just a cup, it has no special powers and isn't going to convert anyone. You put liquid in it and drink out of it. Sorry for being so harsh but this is common sense imo. If you don't believe in God then treat it like him writing a Santa Clause letter. Freakin A
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:41 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • Sorry I didn't realize the cup was for money, but that doesn't make it anymore special. If you don't want to contribute then don't! No one is forcing you to help people.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:50 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • The pilgrims prayed. It was a program about the pilgrims and Thanksgiving. As far as the cup goes..would you have an issue if she wore a cross necklace? Does she say bless you if a child sneezes?

    When my oldest was in Kindergarten his teacher read them Bible stories. That sounds horrible on the surface doesn't it! The truth was that she had a fabulously done book that told many of the Bible stories in an acceptable secular format. There are some good stories in there for kids, stories that taught kindness, compassion, love, understanding, citizenship... Before school started there was a meet the teacher thing and we got to look over the book and had to sign a paper saying it was okay. The teacher read from that book for more than 10 yrs before retiring the year after my son was in her class.
    yourspecialkid

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 7:30 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

  • I tend to agree with you. That's over the edge and I'm a Christian.
    teamquinn

    Answer by teamquinn at 8:23 PM on Nov. 23, 2009

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