Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Anti-Christian Antics in Wisconsin School

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Some religious zealots - specifically Christian zealots - are trying to paint this as anti-Christian. They're being biased and short-sighted, but they're correct in thinking that the school is in the wrong, here.  I had something similar happen with my son in his second-grade class, though it was our lack of reverence that got him into trouble.

After I'd picked him up from school, one day, he was acting upset. I asked why and he explained that he'd been held inside at his desk for part of recess (the standard punishment for second-graders). When I asked why, though, I got a bit of a shock. He was being punished for using the exclamation "Oh, my God!" This seriously worried me. I stopped by his classroom the next morning and had a chat with his teacher about it. She said a couple of the kids in class were highly religious and were taking offense to hearing what they considered a blasphemous phrase. I, in turn, had to explain to the teacher that by officially punishing my son for not following a particular religion's tenets she was in fact establishing a preferred religion. I explained that we were not religious and I really wanted to avoid that. I had no problem with her explaining to him that it'd be polite not to say that phrase, but I couldn't actually allow her to punish him for using it. She understood the distinction, thankfully, and was willing to work with me. Unlike the teacher in this article. The school in the article needs to unbend a bit on their rules, and the parent of the zealous student also needs to unwind a bit. I grew up around such zealotry - that's why I'm making certain that my children are exposed to as little of it as possible.

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