Saturday, June 02, 2007

Should you withdraw your child from school worship and RE?

From BHA site:
Should you withdraw your child from school worship and RE, and what is the best way to handle this?

"No, I believe strongly that they are entitled to share in full in the life of the school. My approach is to work to ensure the school is not indoctrinating them in any religious belief and that they are fully aware of the nature of religion and the alternative choices available.”
"We debated this but felt it better to leave the child amongst his peers. Taking children away from a class differentiates them and makes them stand out, which is difficult for a child until they have developed enough to explain why.”

“No, absolutely not. Assembly is a time when the child is helped to feel part of the school community. Awards are given, notices read out, school rules reinforced etc. Any child who misses this is bound to feel that they are on the margins of their school society. More to the point, who ever was converted to Christianity or any other religion, by a school assembly? My recollection was that assembly confirmed my suspicions that religion was complete nonsense!”

“I never even considered this – I’m not sure that I was aware of the right to excuse them then, or would have exercised it if I had been. I just don't think contact with religion or learning about it is harmful. Though RE was the only subject in the school curriculum where I felt duty-bound to correct what they were taught with ‘Well, some people believe that, I don’t…’ I did feel vaguely annoyed that I felt obliged to counteract what they learnt in RE in a way that no other school subject required. But I do think parents can't leave everything to schools, and passing on beliefs and values is a parental duty.”

“There was no worship at my kids’ school and I would have withdrawn them if there had been. RE was comparative religion which they found utterly boring, though I encouraged them to learn all about the different faiths.”

“RE is relevant whether you believe the stuff they teach you or not. Sometimes it helps to know what other people believe.”

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