Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in school?

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Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in school?

#1  Postby Scarlett » Mar 24, 2010 2:37 pm

I know we've done the stuff about preferring secular education, but due to the fact that's not what we have should a parent choose to withdraw their child from religious worship in school as is their right

I have mixed feelings, on the one hand its against everything I stand for, on the other I don't want my daughter singled out at a time when kids just want to fit in (she's only 3 at the moment so we've got time to lobby the government for a secular education ;) )

To clarify, I'm all for religious education as long as its not taught as fact, just not worship
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#2  Postby Weaver » Mar 24, 2010 2:58 pm

It will be much easier for her and for you if you pull her out of it early.

Yes, she will face discrimination - but that's no reason to expose her to the babble in the first place.

My granddaughter was told that leprechauns had created a mess in her classroom - and they were led to find "evidence" in the form of little toy green footprints the teachers had planted. Since the teachers told her of these "facts" she is now completely adamant that leprechauns exist, and will NOT accept my wife or I telling her that it was just "pretend".

Exposure from trusted authority figures is very hard to combat, even when present with valid contrary evidence, when the kids are that young.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#3  Postby Aurlito » Mar 24, 2010 3:09 pm

Maybe that's adequate for you but it's humiliating for her. she may feel exceptional among her friends hence solitude.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#4  Postby Scarlett » Mar 24, 2010 3:13 pm

Weaver wrote:It will be much easier for her and for you if you pull her out of it early.

Yes, she will face discrimination - but that's no reason to expose her to the babble in the first place.

My granddaughter was told that leprechauns had created a mess in her classroom - and they were led to find "evidence" in the form of little toy green footprints the teachers had planted. Since the teachers told her of these "facts" she is now completely adamant that leprechauns exist, and will NOT accept my wife or I telling her that it was just "pretend".

Exposure from trusted authority figures is very hard to combat, even when present with valid contrary evidence, when the kids are that young.


We've already had problems with my husband's 5yr old from a previous partner being told at school that god made the earth and him and even as an explanation for the wind. I mean, if she doesn't know how the weather works, google it! We're trying to counteract that sort of nonsense by teaching her now about the earth and the planets and evolution (really basic) and we're beginning to source books that we can look at together but as you say exposure from a trusted authority figure is hard to combat. How do you combat this nonsense without undermining all the teachers work?

I probably will withdraw her as it's something I feel really strongly about but I don't feel 100% easy about it, I don't want to cause a different issue for her. It's just crap that it's even an issue
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#5  Postby Warren Dew » Mar 24, 2010 5:24 pm

Paula, remind me why your 3 year old is going to a religious school? I'm not familiar with how the Scottish educational system works.

Weaver wrote:My granddaughter was told that leprechauns had created a mess in her classroom - and they were led to find "evidence" in the form of little toy green footprints the teachers had planted. Since the teachers told her of these "facts" she is now completely adamant that leprechauns exist, and will NOT accept my wife or I telling her that it was just "pretend".

Have you contacted the school? Those teachers should really be tasked with explaining that it was 'just pretend'.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#6  Postby Scarlett » Mar 24, 2010 5:47 pm

Warren Dew wrote:Paula, remind me why your 3 year old is going to a religious school? I'm not familiar with how the Scottish educational system works.

Weaver wrote:My granddaughter was told that leprechauns had created a mess in her classroom - and they were led to find "evidence" in the form of little toy green footprints the teachers had planted. Since the teachers told her of these "facts" she is now completely adamant that leprechauns exist, and will NOT accept my wife or I telling her that it was just "pretend".

Have you contacted the school? Those teachers should really be tasked with explaining that it was 'just pretend'.


It's a mainstream school, its not a faith school but our school curriculum is similar to the rest of the UK in that it must contain christian based worship of some vague kind, its very loosely governed so some schools adhere more closely to it than others. It'll vary from daily prayers and hymn singing to very loosely christian based assemblies once a fortnight. You have the right to withdraw your child from religious worship but this could mean affecting their taking part in school assemblies, which I think is an important part of a school

Religious education is also provided, again based on christianity but including the world religions. Something particular about Scotland is that they still lump it together as Religious and MORAL education ( :x )

From the Scottish Government:
Scotland is a nation whose people hold a wide range of beliefs from the many branches of the Christian faith represented throughout the land to the world’s other major religions and to beliefs which lie outwith religious traditions. Such diversity enriches the Scottish nation and serves as an inspiring and thought-provoking background for our children and young people to develop their own beliefs and values.

Religious and moral education enables children and young people to explore the world’s major religions and views which are independent of religious belief and to consider the challenges posed by these beliefs and values. It supports them in developing and reflecting upon their values and their capacity for moral judgement. Through developing awareness and appreciation of the value of each individual in a diverse society, religious and moral education engenders responsible attitudes to other people. This awareness and appreciation will assist in counteracting prejudice and intolerance as children and young people consider issues such as sectarianism and discrimination more broadly.

'Religious and moral education is a process where children and young people engage in a search for meaning, value and purpose in life. This involves both the exploration of beliefs and values and the study of how such beliefs and values are expressed.'
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#7  Postby Warren Dew » Mar 24, 2010 6:57 pm

Thanks for the explanation.

In that situation, I'd definitely withdraw my children from religious worship. Then again, I'm not a fan of school assemblies, either; to my mind, they seem to fulfill the same basic purpose as religious worship, of pressuring children to conform to the group.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#8  Postby HomerJay » Mar 24, 2010 7:52 pm

I think it's something you need todiscuss with theHead. Finmd out how religious the assemblies are, and how often they have that nature, also do they invite the local church in etc.

Discuss your concerns with the Head and ask what the alternative provisions are. They do have alternative provisions, don't they?

A pupil shouldn't be disadvantaged in any way by missing th assembly but some schools may do the religious bit first and then wheel people in to do the workaday stuff. Not a pleasant alternative IMHO as the kids wait outside and then get wheeled into the hall in full view.

If other parents have done the same then it may not be too bad for your child, especially if you can persuade the parents of her friends to do it as well. Otherwise it is unfortunately probably not worth the stigma.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#9  Postby melchior » Mar 24, 2010 8:55 pm

All of our kids have been exposed to aspects of religious worship at school, all of them have gone through a 'god' phase as young kids and all of them have grown out of it!!

It's not a huge part of the school day. If I'd withdrawn my kids from religious stuff I'd have missed out on my 6 year old son being very cute in an easter assembly this morning :)
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#10  Postby Bolero » Mar 25, 2010 7:12 am

OP:
Should you withdraw your child from religious worship? Hell yeah. If more non-theist parents did that, it would send a clear message to the schools that it is a waste of school time, and parents don't want it there.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#11  Postby Scarlett » Mar 25, 2010 8:09 am

Bolero wrote:OP:
Should you withdraw your child from religious worship? Hell yeah. If more non-theist parents did that, it would send a clear message to the schools that it is a waste of school time, and parents don't want it there.


But most people are so apathetic that it may well be that Tia is the only child withdrawn, thats what'll bother me, and possibly her more

Thanks to everyone for the advice :)
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#12  Postby The_Metatron » Mar 25, 2010 8:22 am

The problem is, a three year old kid will simply accept what they are told as fact. They have no functioning bullshit filters yet. An impenetrable bullshit filter is the most valuable thing a person can have. It takes purposeful effort to develop and hone it. Typically, this isn't something schools are terribly interested in doing.

The only question you need to answer is, How well can you can deprogram them when they are given riligious horseshit as fact (and they will be)?

I would keep in mind that the school has your kids for more time than you do, and they're well trained in putting ideas into kids' heads. Since you can't control what ideas they try to put into your kids heads, I'd bloody well control when my kid is there.

Religion indeed does poison everything, not sparing young minds, either.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#13  Postby Wiðercora » Mar 25, 2010 8:34 am

My mum works at an English primary school, and I had a look through this sheet with the curriculum on it a few weeks ago. On it was 'Learning what Jesus did for me'. Christianity was being taught as fact.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#14  Postby hackenslash » Mar 25, 2010 10:05 am

The_Metatron wrote:The problem is, a three year old kid will simply accept what they are told as fact. They have no functioning bullshit filters yet. An impenetrable bullshit filter is the most valuable thing a person can have. It takes purposeful effort to develop and hone it. Typically, this isn't something schools are terribly interested in doing.

The only question you need to answer is, How well can you can deprogram them when they are given riligious horseshit as fact (and they will be)?

I would keep in mind that the school has your kids for more time than you do, and they're well trained in putting ideas into kids' heads. Since you can't control what ideas they try to put into your kids heads, I'd bloody well control when my kid is there.

Religion indeed does poison everything, not sparing young minds, either.


This.

It's a balancing act. You also have to consider which is the greater evil. Is it worse to have to deprogram, which may not be that easy, or that the child feels a bit singled out? I know which I'd prefer. Ultimately, you know that, though it may sting a bit now, it's for her own growth and she'll thank you for it later. It's a matter of weighing the short-term costs against the long-term benefits.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#15  Postby virphen » Mar 25, 2010 10:12 am

I would be interested to know what a withdrawn child does while the bulk (I presume it's the bulk) engage in the bullshit rituals.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#16  Postby Scarlett » Mar 25, 2010 11:20 am

hackenslash wrote:
The_Metatron wrote:The problem is, a three year old kid will simply accept what they are told as fact. They have no functioning bullshit filters yet. An impenetrable bullshit filter is the most valuable thing a person can have. It takes purposeful effort to develop and hone it. Typically, this isn't something schools are terribly interested in doing.

The only question you need to answer is, How well can you can deprogram them when they are given riligious horseshit as fact (and they will be)?

I would keep in mind that the school has your kids for more time than you do, and they're well trained in putting ideas into kids' heads. Since you can't control what ideas they try to put into your kids heads, I'd bloody well control when my kid is there.

Religion indeed does poison everything, not sparing young minds, either.


This.

It's a balancing act. You also have to consider which is the greater evil. Is it worse to have to deprogram, which may not be that easy, or that the child feels a bit singled out? I know which I'd prefer. Ultimately, you know that, though it may sting a bit now, it's for her own growth and she'll thank you for it later. It's a matter of weighing the short-term costs against the long-term benefits.


As I said previously I probably will choose to withdraw her, its just the singling out aspect that upsets me, but it could be that if prepared for it properly it could strengthen her character

virphen wrote:I would be interested to know what a withdrawn child does while the bulk (I presume it's the bulk) engage in the bullshit rituals.


This would be something I'd need to chat to the teacher about, this could be a tricky one. And I think she could well be on her own, apathy is the main feeling where I live :roll:
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#17  Postby Weaver » Mar 25, 2010 11:34 am

I think one of your keys to success is to prep your kid with a few answers to likely questions.

When I was young, and other kids would ask what religion we were, my parents coached us that we COULD answer "Unitarian" because they used to attend a Unitarian church as a social outlet (before we were born). They didn't tell us to lie, but they cautioned us that outright saying we didn't believe in a god could upset some people - and that if we didn't care to engage in fruitless arguments on the schoolyard, this was an acceptable alternative.

I'd suggest you should think of a couple "reasons" - not untrue, but not necessarialy the whole truth - that your kid can use to respond to questions like "why don't you attend RE stuff" and "what religion are you" - answers she can understand for her age level, and for which she will become more enlightned as she gets older and more able to understand.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#18  Postby Scarlett » Mar 25, 2010 11:46 am

Weaver wrote:I think one of your keys to success is to prep your kid with a few answers to likely questions.

When I was young, and other kids would ask what religion we were, my parents coached us that we COULD answer "Unitarian" because they used to attend a Unitarian church as a social outlet (before we were born). They didn't tell us to lie, but they cautioned us that outright saying we didn't believe in a god could upset some people - and that if we didn't care to engage in fruitless arguments on the schoolyard, this was an acceptable alternative.

I'd suggest you should think of a couple "reasons" - not untrue, but not necessarialy the whole truth - that your kid can use to respond to questions like "why don't you attend RE stuff" and "what religion are you" - answers she can understand for her age level, and for which she will become more enlightned as she gets older and more able to understand.


To be honest Weaver saying that she doesn't believe in god wouldn't be a problem, I'm in the UK where there is no stigma to being atheist. Alot of the parents will be atheist but most are so apathetic it wouldn't occur to them to withdraw their child from religious anything in school. They possibly wouldn't even give a shit about the child coming home telling them god made the earth etc, and very few if any would see it as unethical as I do

But I totally agree that preperation is the key, both with finding out what will happen at school and preparing my daughter
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#19  Postby trubble76 » Mar 25, 2010 11:47 am

My advice would be to stop worrying. I was a boarder at a CofE school, and as such was forced to attend several "chapels" and other forms of religious service, my school week began on Sunday evening with just such a service. It did me no harm at all, other than boring me rigid. Of course i had the typical wishywashy childhood notion of god, but like the tooth-fairy and santa, it was vague and unimportant. What it did do though was to give me plenty of time to consider what a ridiculous proposition religion really is.
Obviously it would be ernormously helpful if you add your take on religion, which i assume is a given anyway.

I think you have to offer your child the opportunity to dismiss religion based on their own discovery, this clearly means you may be exposing them to the risk of indoctrination, but given a rational upbringing at home this is unlikely.
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Re: Should I withdraw my child from religious worship in sch

#20  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 25, 2010 11:54 am

Paula1 wrote:
It's a mainstream school, its not a faith school but our school curriculum is similar to the rest of the UK in that it must contain christian based worship of some vague kind, its very loosely governed so some schools adhere more closely to it than others. It'll vary from daily prayers and hymn singing to very loosely christian based assemblies once a fortnight. You have the right to withdraw your child from religious worship but this could mean affecting their taking part in school assemblies, which I think is an important part of a school

Religious education is also provided, again based on christianity but including the world religions. Something particular about Scotland is that they still lump it together as Religious and MORAL education ( :x )


This is the thing: the school has CHOSEN to include that much religion in assemblies. At my school asmeblies are completely secular. ONCE a year the christian saddos come in to try ro preach and the idiocy of such people is reinforced to the students. so I don't let it concern me :grin:

You never know. If you withdraw her from the delusional indoctrination then it may encourage others to do the same. It would give the scholl pause for thought.

Having said the above IANAP.
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