Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Festivus

Warning:  The following post may offend some of you!

  For all of you new followers:  There is a lot of history with Kanin's school that adds to this story.  You can read about here:

So, this week Kanin came home from school talking about Hannukah.  The first day he told me that some people celebrated Hannukah, the second day he came home with a dradel and explained how to play the game and the third day he came home with a Hannukah word search.

The first day I thought, "Well, that's nice.  They are talking about the different holidays that people celebrate."

The second day I thought, "Oh, Hannukah, again.  Ok."

The third day I thought, "Am I losing my mind or is this a public school? I don't remember sending him to a Jewish school."

Before I go on let me make a couple of things perfectly clear: 

#1 We are without a doubt a Christian family who believes that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

#2 We are not a close-minded, prejudice family.  We fully respect that others do not believe the same way that we do and we respect their right to those beliefs.

Now, having said that, there are so many other issues that come up:

*Why it is necessarily for our public school to teach Hannukah?
*Is this taught state-wide?
*Did his teacher choose to spend time on this subject?
*Will all holiday celebrations be covered, including Kwanzaa, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Muharram, Atheism?
Why is it ok to talk about a religious holiday but we cannot have Santa on any of the "Winter Party" paper products or in any of the games or prizes?

When I was growing up we had Christmas Concerts where we sang The First Noel and Away in a Manger.  I was never faced with these issues because everyone in the entire school was of the same religion; however, now that that is no longer my reality, I find myself leaning more and more towards the fact that religion should be left out of public school.  If one religion is taught then all religions can be taught and that is just not ok with me.

Now before I get responses like, "If you don't want that stuff taught then send your kids to private school."  To be honest, I would love to send my 3 children to a Lutheran school but I also still love to have food on our table, clothes on our back and a roof over our heads and 3 kids in private school will not be cheap.

I honestly do want my children to know about other cultures, traditions, religions and customs.  I want them to be exposed to all walks of life.  I think what bothers me about the situation is that I'm pretty sure that our culture, tradition, religion and custom will not be taught.

There are still a couple of weeks left until Christmas vacation.  I am hoping that Christianity is also represented in this holiday discussion but I'm thinking that it is not likely.  Kanin came home singing The 12 Days of Christmas and I am betting THAT is what they are calling "Christmas". 

Now, I'm pretty sure that if I am thinking this stuff that other Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Atheist, African and Pagan parents bare, too.  (Yes, we have all of these in our school).  I really wonder if this is going to turn into a big debate type issues. 

I guess only time will tell . . .

1 comment:

  1. I am totally with you! I am waiting patiently to see if other religious customs and beliefs will be talked about, time WILL tell! I think it is strange that we cannot have a Christmas or Holiday theme for the class party, but they can learn about and play religious-based games during class?? HMMM??