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7 Bumps

Would you have thought twice before saying this? (edited to clarify)

(before anyone starts foaming at the mouth, I'm not seething with rage about this or demanding anyone lose their job, it's a situation we've dealt with enough times I'm used to dealing with it, so spare me your persecution complex)

At DS's public school, his 2nd grade class made a kind of advent calendar, though they didn't call it one. It's a bell with a pull made of paper chain, one link for each day til Christmas. Here's the instructions he was given on how to use it:

"Every night before you go to bed, after you say your prayers, take a link off the chain, and when there's one left, it's Christmas Eve."

And that is how he recited them to me, word for word. He's a stickler for rules and directions, so he was careful to make sure he had them correct. He didn't ask me about the prayer part, but he made sure that phrase was included every time he recited the directions.

I haven't asked him yet if he asked (as he is very likely to do, since he is very much about rules) what to do if you don't pray. I'll wait a few days so it's not a big deal and I can just ask it in passing. Hopefully, if he did ask, any fallout from once again "outing" himself here in Jesusland will be forgotten over Winter Break.

Would you make a comment like that in passing to a room full of 7 year old public school kids? Is it just 2nd nature to assume they all pray at bedtime and nobody would have an issue with it? Or that they all celebrate Christmas?



I don't think it was the regular teacher that was behind this project.  She sees a lot of kids on the specturm because it's the G&T program, and there's one child in her class this year, so she's extra-mindful of how literal they are. It's also just not the kind of project they do in her class.  I suspect this was from art class.  That brings up more issues.  I KNOW there are kids at the school, even though there are none in DS's class this year, who are JW, Muslim and Hindu.  (and statistically I'm sure there are atheists, agnostics, Jews and UU, too).  I wasn't asking this just in terms of someone saying that in front of my specific child.  Whether this was the art teacher or one of the aids or paras, they work with the whole school.


Asked by NotPanicking at 9:17 AM on Dec. 17, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (39)
  • I work in a public school system and I'd have to say it was inappropriate for a teacher in a public school to say that. It should have been something like "after you get ready for bed". Some people just can't think past what they believe and fail to take in to consideration that what they do is not necessarily what everyone else does.


    Answer by Crafty26 at 9:31 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • Wow depressedmom65, you sure do have a twisted view of what equality really is. Wish I could vote you down more than once!

    Answer by my2.5boys at 9:30 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • silly move on the part of the teacher really- MOST teachers (and I am one) know better than that- a gentle reminder is in order- not a full blown butt chewing, but a reminder of the role of teachers in the lives of kids. We are there to educate and we need to be mindful of our students and their families.

    Answer by soyousay at 9:43 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • This country is NOT one nation under god and many of the founding fathers were NOT christian. There are many religions out there that do not believe in prayer at all and in a public school there is supposed to be a separation of church and state so YES I would be offended by a teacher telling the entire room to do something "after their evening prayer". I am in no way trying to push my minority views on everyone, but I really would appreciate everyone else not trying to push their views on me either! The teacher likely did not do this on purpose, but I think she should be told about it so she doesn't do it in the future. I would not immediately go talk to her all in a huff, but just mention to her that your son takes things VERY literally (as do most kids his age) and he was somewhat confused about the prayer thing since he doesn't pray and you would appreciate her not saying things like that.

    Answer by aeneva at 9:35 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • I know a lot of christians that don't teach their kids to pray at night so he might not be outing himself for an athiest. But I would mention in passing that not everyone prays so it might be best to just make the rules at night before you go to bed.

    And how is it equality for a chosen few to say that not everyone prays? You really need to get your nose out of your own arse.

    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 9:33 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • I probably wouldn't say something in front of the class but I would definitely be saying something to the teacher about it because that isn't right.

    Answer by purpleducky at 9:39 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • Me I would just let it go. It's hard to be PC all the time around this time of year.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:45 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • That wouldn't fly with me. We are not pushing any religion on our son,so if this came up it would force me to have to explain how others talk to their god,and I'm not ready to go there yet.
    I don't like the assumation that everyone follows a religion.
    I was under the impression that schools were not allowed to mention this sort of thing,unless it is a religion school.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:28 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • Sounds inappropriate to me for a teacher to say that to a classroom of students, especially if it's not a private school. It would depend on the circumstances whether I would just let it go or say something to the school though. I live in the Bible Belt, so I'm not looking forward to dealing with this kind of stuff when my son starts going to school. If wanted to let it slide, I would tell my son that some people pray, but others meditate, and the teacher just used the word that meant something to her (or something to that effect), and that he could do whichever one he wanted or neither and it would be ok. If there had been a history of problems or if this wasn't an isolated incident, I'd be more likely to talk to the school about it. If (s)he didn't usually say these things, and just wasn't thinking, I'd be likely to cut them some slack and just talk to my son about it.

    Answer by pam19 at 9:41 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • I think that "say your prayers" is something that some (not all) people use as a general statement - it's just something that they say because they were raised that way. I wouldn't get in a twist over it, unless the teacher was telling the kids that they had to pray, or giving them a prayer to say. *I* would never make that statement to anyone. (I don't pray)

    Answer by Scuba at 9:24 AM on Dec. 17, 2010