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Raven

Father Says Schools Don't Support Christian Beliefts - Link

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http://www.torontosun.com/2012/09/10/dad-says-hamilton-school-board-not-supporting-christian-beliefs

 

This is a story that's been buzzing around the GTA since yesterday. Here is the link, but in case it doesn't work, a quick synopsis:

 

A man, who is Greek Orthodox, is upset that the school board will not agree to advise him ahead of time if topics are going to arise in the classroom that clash with his family's GO faith. (Topics such as marriage, sexuality, family structure, etc.)

 

Part of his argument is that people of other faiths have been allowed considerations, so why not his family?

 

It's an interesting debate. I'll withhold my own ideas until later.

 

By the way - check out some of the 300+ comments after the story - wow. O.o

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Raven

A man, who is Greek Orthodox, is upset that the school board will not agree to advise him ahead of time if topics are going to arise in the classroom

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If this is accurate then he is barking up the wrong tree. Get to know his kid's teachers. And ask his kids to wake up and pay attention so they will know if something demonic is about to come down the pike. OR

 

He could grow up, be a parent and help his kids deal with a world that is not perfect and in which not all people agree.

 

Dutch

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He could grow up, be a parent and help his kids deal with a world that is not perfect and in which not all people agree.

 

Or, he could home school the child so that the child grows up unaware of a world outside of Greek Orthodoxy.

 

This story caused me to wonder what they might be teaching in Canadian elementary schools that a Greek Orthodox would find so objectionable.

 

George

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Dutch - you mean actually sit down as a family and talk about things? And listen to what people have to say? Crazy! :rolleyes: We always, always had dinner as a family...at the table, looking at one another, not staring at the tv. Our parents heard all about what was going on - in the classroom, at recess, who said what, and so on.

 

George - the father seems mostly concerned about issues relating to family, marriage, and sexuality. Canada's education policies don't allow for discrimination in the classroom, so discussions about sexuality and family would include talking about homosexuality, single parenthood, STDs, condom use, and so forth.

 

I think the whole thing is crazy. As a teacher, you have no way of anticipating what's going to go on in your classroom 100% of the time. Your lesson plans are one thing - what students decide to ask about/talk about is something else.

 

The bigger point, for me, is that I don't understand this idea of barring kids from learning about the outside world. Whether or not their family agrees with same-sex marriage, for example, doesn't stop it from happening.

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I attended public school in the mid 80s-mid 90s, and I remember it being kind of glossed over, but definitely not an issue. It was basically, "There are lots of types of families...." and that was sort of that. There were a lot of kids with single parents at home, and lots of kids in multi-generational or multi-branch families, so it wasn't exactly Leave It to Beaver anyway.

 

The father in this article keeps saying how he's not extreme or fundy or anything else, but it does seem extreme to me. It also seems really rude to expect a public system to bow to religious demands.

 

The other aspect of this article brings to light some of the religious issues we're experiencing in our society. It's basically, "you bend over for Muslim kids, why not Christian kids?" There is a part of me that gets that as a theory, but not in this reality.

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I teach at an At Risk School. The topic came up about the gay life style. I said, "In this school we have a culture of tolerance." I just related this story and then went on with the lesson. I told them in the 60's I had a business with 5 partners. We became good friends and did everything together. We put on music concerts, played in a band and we lived in a yoga ashram where we did social service. After a few years one of the partners came out and said he was gay. I told them this person did not change, he was still my friend and was the president of the university he attended. The other partners rejected him. I then explain that this person was still good, the friend we all loved and enjoyed being with, but the other partners changed and turned off the faucet of love to him. This person became sucessful lawyer and judge and guess what after 40 years the other partners realized their mistake and became friends again with this gentleman. They were the ones who missed out. I was lucky that no parents complained.

 

4 years ago I taught science and we were told we could teach all the human systems, but not the reproductive system. It is very strange how politics dictate what we can and can not teach. Imagine teaching Biology, but can't teach reproduction which is a part of the definition of living things.

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Great story, Soma! It's amazing what you can miss out on with other people. Judging someone based on their sexuality, their gender, their faith, their ethnicity... it can leave a big hole in your life where someone amazing might have been.

 

I feel very sad that the public education system has put so much restraint on what they can and can't teach. I really do feel that parents and school boards have way too much control over what goes on in the classroom. It makes me so glad I went into adult ed.

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