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Question for all paths...

This was posted in one of my Groups on another site:

"My oldest child's teacher is a devout Catholic. I raise my children to be tollerant of other religions as everyone is allowed to believe in whatever they want to. I have religious symbols from many different religions in the house and I tell my children stories from those religions as well. However, the teacher (noted above) has been pushing Christianity on the class and has told them the stories of Jesus for Christmas and Easter. I have no issues with my children learning these stories or any story from any religion. My issue is with the teacher preaching it as the truth and telling the children that Jesus is "OUR" God. I have told the teacher several times that we are pagan and do not believe in a Christian God. I am now getting offended. The Prinicpal is ignoring me and I about to go to the Board of Ed. I need advice on how better to get my point across that no teacher has the right to preach religion at my kids."

Now, to me a Public School Teacher should NOT be teaching religion besides to teach culture (for instance it's hard to teach about traditional Indian Culture without exploring basic Hindu Beliefs). I wouldn't even want a teacher who shared my beliefs teaching this stuff...

My question is, if the this were your child's teacher would you have an issue? If you are Christian, and share her beliefs, would it still be an issue or would you simply see it as a reinforcement of your teachings? And if you're not Christian or are otherwise uncomfortable with this how would you take action seeing how the teacher & the Principal have both ignored you when you spoke with them?

Answer Question
 
SabrinaMBowen

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 10:38 AM on Mar. 4, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • If Christianity and the trials of Jesus are presented like any other form of mythology, I would have no problem with it. But interjecting her religion to be the only one, I do.
    CraftingMama

    Answer by CraftingMama at 10:42 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • I think more info is needed- how old are the kids, have other kids reported the same thing to their parents, have the parent witnessed this, does the teacher admit to this- we have a saying in education " I will give you the benefit of the doubt on what your child says about you and hope you will do the same for me"- Kids say the most amazing things about their parents and home life-

    BUT if all of the above has been verified to be true-then I would say that the next step is indeed the School Board-this is not acceptable behavior in a public school-
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 10:48 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • It's a Public School YES there is a problem. The only case in which this wouldn't be an issue is if you were sending your child to a private Catholic school. Since you have already talked to the teacher and the principal you are correct in going to the school board. (Or threaten to sue, that seems to get people's heads out of their butts in regards to lower levels. At least it did when my school wouldnt' allow my sister to play football and they had nothing in their rules against it. The following year the team had 5 girls playing!) In that issue you are merely composing a letter (3 copies) one of which you sned to each person, The Teacher, The principal, and the school board, stating your complaint, the current handling of it, and any necessary information (constitution) to support the fact that religion should not be endorsed in a public school setting and that if things will not change you will be seeking legal action
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 10:49 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • Oh, yes, even as a Christian that would bother me (although I do admit I'm not the same kind of Christian as most, or even as the teacher seems to be - though that wouldn't matter, personal belief isn't supposed to be pushed in school, even if it *is* the same kind of belief I have). I agree with you - an unbiased way of sharing information is one thing, preaching is something else, and is *not* something I'd tolerate, especially if it goes against what I'm trying to teach my child at home. I would definitely go through whatever channels necessary if it really were effecting my child and causing problems.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:01 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • A teacher pushing religion in a public school would be a huge issue for me, and the school would know it!

    beeky

    Answer by beeky at 11:07 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • Not sure what Id do but Ive never seen pot stirring work in cases like this.

    I figure "damage control" can be done at home, on a regular basis as needed, not moaning and groaning to a group who wont listen nor care.

    Even if the person goes to the school boards odds are very high they will get the same treatment...ignoring and nothing done. When you are dealing with a religion who believes they have the answers, they are right, they are in the majority,etc,etc you cannot get very far no matter who much you complain.

    So I figure you can either keep complaining, going up the chain and getting frustrated with the lack of anything being done OR you can simply explain to your child that the "our" being referred to is about her own family not your child. Explain that some are very passionate about their beliefs and sometimes, mistakenly, make it sound like its the one and only when its not.
    Amaranth361

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 11:22 AM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • There are times when involving a lawyer is warranted, especially if it is presented as protecting her child's rights and not a quest for damages.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:13 PM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • If the teacher is teaching her religious beliefs as facts to the class and NOT as a cultural/historian type lesson, then
    we have a problem in a public school setting...
    I would talk to the teacher first... simply explain to her your concerns and ask her HOW she is teaching her beliefs to
    the class... If this continues, I would go to the principle and discuss it with him/her... again if this continues you go to
    the school board with an attorney in tow...
    NO ONE (even in the Christian belief system) believes the same way and a public school is not allowed to pick and
    choose and teach that religion as "Fact"...
    But using the diplomatic approach usually will work...

    Good Luck
    gmasboy

    Answer by gmasboy at 4:37 PM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • I am Catholic and would not have a problem with it. My ex however was an Atheist for a time (finally came back to the church after years) and would often make issues of anything. He didnt even want the kids to sing Christmas songs at school even when all religions were being presented at the Christmas pageant. After awhile the school did ignore him and labelled him a trouble maker. I think there is a fine line in complaining versus actual concern. If you are complaining to just complain no one will take you seriously.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 4:42 PM on Mar. 4, 2011

  • What the teacher is doing in wrong. If it were my child's school, and if the principal turned a deaf ear, you bet your ass I'd take it straight to the school board and beyond if necessary. If we are sending our children to secular schools, we shouldn't have to worry about a teacher trying to indoctrinate our children into any religion.
    KelleyP77

    Answer by KelleyP77 at 6:34 PM on Mar. 4, 2011

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