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Exclusion of Christian holidays in schools while other religious holidays are celebrated?

While I do not agree with removing religion from schools, I do understand it. However, I do NOT understand why over Christmas my kids schools were not allowed to even mention "Christmas" and they could have Holiday parties and Holiday trees but not Christmas trees, but they taught all about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, etc. They spent a full day on each of these, doing projects and learning all about them. Now at Easter, we can't even have Good Friday off, and they can not even celebrate Easter in the school. I have no problem with my kids learning about other religion's holidays, but I do find it a bit irritating that we can celebrate other religions holidays in school, just not Christian holidays. Anybody else feel that way?

 
AprilDJC

Asked by AprilDJC at 3:58 PM on Apr. 20, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 20 (8,524 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (56)
  • In what manner are other holidays "celebrated" or "taught"? I'm very curious about this. In the school where I work, and in my daughters' schools, they may sing a song about the Dradle (a toy--not a religious relic) when they're singing other holiday songs (in the Christmas tradition), and they may talk about how the Menorah is lit and about some of the traditions of Kwanzaa (which isn't really a religious holiday, but more a celebration of cultural identity). That is the extent of "celebrating" or "teaching", and the "lessons" (I'm about to be arrested for excessive use of quotation marks) last all of about twenty minutes total. It's not as if the kids are being immersed in in-depth lessons, but merely given a glimpse of other traditions. Most of the kids in my area are more than familiar with Christian holidays, and celebrate them at home and at church.

    jsbenkert

    Answer by jsbenkert at 2:31 PM on Apr. 22, 2011

  • Learning about and celebrating are 2 very different things
    adnilm

    Answer by adnilm at 4:46 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I don't know what you are talking about. My guess is that you are super-sensitive that Christianity isn't being taught as faith. It is mentioned with the same weight--often more--as other beliefs' holidays in the school systems that I'm familiar with. In the preschool where I work, the beliefs aren't discussed, but how families celebrate are. As has been mentioned by pnwoman and Eek_a_ geek, most people in this country are more than familiar with Christianity, but have little, if any, exposure to other beliefs or practices. Also, Christian holidays are the only ones that are given paid holidays. I don't understand your complaint. My children have this Friday off from school, and the private preschool where I work also has the day off--listed as "Good Friday", and it's supposed to be a secular preschool. Where is your gripe?

    jsbenkert

    Answer by jsbenkert at 5:35 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Most public schools that teach kids about different religious celebrations around the Winter Holidays generally include a number of major religious celebrations, INCLUDING Christmas. I understand why they don't call it a "Christmas" tree, etc, but are you sure they didn't also talk about Christmas at the same time they talked about those other holidays? Quite frankly, I don't believe you.

    Most public schools usually have at least a week or two off at the end of the year so people can celebrate any way they wish. Now you're upset because you also feel that EVERYONE should have to take a day off on Friday because your religion has another holiday in the Springtime? If we do that, then why shouldn't we also take off every other holiday for every other religion throughout the year? Or do you think that those other religion's holidays don't deserve a day off because they aren't as "important" as yours?

    Eek_a_Geek

    Answer by Eek_a_Geek at 4:37 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • As we have heard time and time again, Christianity is one of the largest religions in the U.S. You already have two weeks off so you can celebrate Christmas. The stores are flooded with Christian paraphernalia for holidays and every day occasions. You don't see as many Jewish decorations nor Islamic and you sure as heck don't see Pagan merchandise in major stores. Now, you want to really discuss what is fair?

    pnwmom

    Answer by pnwmom at 5:15 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I agree with you 100% OP. What got me was when my kids' preschool did the same thing (learning each way to celebrate) they DID do Christmas, but it was centered around Santa. People are afraid of anything that includes Jesus.
    Renee3K

    Answer by Renee3K at 5:29 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Christianity is so engraved into our culture it doesn't NEED to be taught.
    02_Grey_Mustang

    Answer by 02_Grey_Mustang at 8:22 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • My opinion is that religion belongs at home amongst family. If something cannot be discussed in school with out discussing religion, it does not belong in public school. Want your child to learn about your families preferred religion? Teach them. Want your kids to learn about religion in school? Enroll them in a faith based private school.
    JeniJonas

    Answer by JeniJonas at 10:09 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • We're in Texas, and my daughter's 2nd grade class learned about how all the different countries celebrate around the holidays. I was quite happy to see Scandinavia represented as it's a part of my heritage. They teach diversity of holidays and celebrations here, but what they do not do is teach religion.
    KelleyP77

    Answer by KelleyP77 at 6:17 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • What is wrong with LEARNING about the other Holidays from other reliogions? You say they LEARN about them--you didn't say they CELEBRATE them.There is a difference. Learning is a good thing. You can't exclude certain things just because YOU don't like new things, different things,etc..
    minnesotanice

    Answer by minnesotanice at 6:41 PM on Apr. 20, 2011