or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Santa visiting class in public school
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Santa visiting class in public school - Page 5

post #81 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
Approximately 85% of Americans believe in God, but 95% believe in Santa. Really?

If Santa is secular, then maybe he should change his standard "Ho, ho, ho....MERRY CHRISTMAS!" to some other phrase.
In that vein shouldn't Easter be called something else? Easter is hardly a Christian word, yet it celebrates a Christian holiday.

The name is irrelevant. For many, many people, Christmas and Santa (not St Nick) are secular.
post #82 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
No, 95% of the population is not Christian. I've heard quotes of 30 to 50% of the U.S. population being agnostic or non-believers. That's not counting the other religions in the country.


She didn't say 95% of the population is Christian. She said that polls have shown 95% celebrate Santa in some form or another. It seems to me that that number may be high, but it includes some, like me who are agnostic, but celebrate Christmas, and some like my husband, who was raised Muslim but celebrates, and some like my friends who are Buddhist and Hindu but celebrate.
post #83 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2maya
Santa is not religious, it is secular, and over 95% of Americans 'believe' in Santa.
Quote:
She didn't say 95% of the population is Christian. She said that polls have shown 95% celebrate Santa in some form or another. It seems to me that that number may be high, but it includes some, like me who are agnostic, but celebrate Christmas, and some like my husband, who was raised Muslim but celebrates, and some like my friends who are Buddhist and Hindu but celebrate.
post #84 of 150
Interesting debate. Here is what I think:

If you went to another country, and people were celebrating a particular holiday (whether or not connected to religious roots), and you saw the kids laughing and enjoying themselves, would you see it as a horrible thing? Would you ask for statistics on how many families actually celebrate that holiday? Or would you appreciate the tradition you got to witness?

Half of my family is Jewish (and we have immediate family in Israel). Half of my family is Christian. My dad claims to be an atheist. DSD claims to be agnostic at the moment (I think she is still figuring things out). Yet, no one would think to oppose a celebration that is prevalent in a given culture. The reality is, prevalent majority of Americans "do Santa" in one form or another, be it religious or just the stockings and reindeer kind of way.

I don't tell my sister to put away her menorah, and she complements my Christmas tree.

What I dislike about the whole thing is how taboo the whole subject is. Ya know what? If it wasn't for Christmas, there probably wouldn't the "the winter break". If it wasn't for Christmas, we probably wouldn't be saying to each other "Happy Holidays".

Santa is a great mythical figure and very few kids realize the religious roots behind him. Should we ban Superman? What if I don't like superman? Should we not discuss Greek Mythology at our school? That was based on very much religious grounds.

I teach, and I stay away from Santa, Christmas trees, and the whole bit, but I wish I didn't have to.
post #85 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsMother View Post
But, teaching about differences in cultural holidays does not have to include in depth studies about religion. The reason for the various holidays and the tradtions that are observed does not have to invlove theological discussions on any level, be it kindergarten or 12th grade. Sharing various religious beliefs is not the same is teaching religion. Saying that Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, Jews commemorate the rededcation of the Holy Temple, Muslims fast to shun excesses and to teach patience and spirituality is a fact.
: - teaching the various ways that different religions and cultures celebrate special occasions is not the same as diving into their sacred texts and trying to analyze them, or trying to convince a child that one or the other is "right". "Some people believe this, others believe this...." done in an age appropriate way doesn't have to be heavy and deep for little kids, and doesn't mean that people are trying to convert children or do anything other than show them the diversity of humanity.
post #86 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Interesting debate. Here is what I think:

If you went to another country, and people were celebrating a particular holiday (whether or not connected to religious roots), and you saw the kids laughing and enjoying themselves, would you see it as a horrible thing? Would you ask for statistics on how many families actually celebrate that holiday? Or would you appreciate the tradition you got to witness?

Half of my family is Jewish (and we have immediate family in Israel). Half of my family is Christian. My dad claims to be an atheist. DSD claims to be agnostic at the moment (I think she is still figuring things out). Yet, no one would think to oppose a celebration that is prevalent in a given culture. The reality is, prevalent majority of Americans "do Santa" in one form or another, be it religious or just the stockings and reindeer kind of way.

I don't tell my sister to put away her menorah, and she complements my Christmas tree.

What I dislike about the whole thing is how taboo the whole subject is. Ya know what? If it wasn't for Christmas, there probably wouldn't the "the winter break". If it wasn't for Christmas, we probably wouldn't be saying to each other "Happy Holidays".

Santa is a great mythical figure and very few kids realize the religious roots behind him. Should we ban Superman? What if I don't like superman? Should we not discuss Greek Mythology at our school? That was based on very much religious grounds.

I teach, and I stay away from Santa, Christmas trees, and the whole bit, but I wish I didn't have to.
i loved this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bea View Post
I'm utterly bamboozled as to how the fun and imagination of childhood is turned into a politically correct evil.

Maybe it's because I'm from a culture and era of fairies, pixies and sprites. Santa. The tooth fairy.

The magic of childhood.
agreed. my kids celebrate santa (he only brings one small gift,but the magic of it is wonderful), the tooth fairy gives them a dollar for every tooth they lose, and they believe fireflies are actually pixies spreading pixie dust. we also search for tree trolls while driving & when the wind is strong we see them moving around. my kids love to believe. so do i.
post #87 of 150
One of the teachers at my son's daycare introduced him to Santa his first year there. I was a little shocked, since we hadn't decided whether we were doing Santa or not.

My husband is Catholic. The teacher who told my son about Santa is Muslim, and wears the hijab. Still haven't sorted all that out yet.

Anyways, they do have Santa come to the holiday concert, which is outside of school hours but a big school event. I'm still not sure I'm completely thrilled by the whole thing, but it works out fine as far as the kids are concerned. Last year I watched a child with a Sikh topknot grill Santa on Rudolph's eating habits.

It is only as big a deal as the parents make it.
post #88 of 150
It doesn't phase me at all. Santa came to my son's preschool, they made dreidels and his Hannukah star is on the top of one of our Christmas trees (he insisted!). They lit the kinara for Kwanzaa and read books about the seven principles. They made a pinata and learned about Christmas in Mexico. Last month they learned an Indian dance and made clay pots when learning about Diwali. Santa was about 10 minutes out of a month of celebrations and learning about different cultures. I don't see why he should get any less attention than anything else. Just for reference, every child in the school celebrates Christmas in some way and nobody objects to Santa as a character of the holiday (this came up at a parent meeting earlier in the year). I guess I don't get what the big deal is really.
post #89 of 150
If Santa were part of religion, he'd hang out at churches rather than the mall.
post #90 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
If Santa were part of religion, he'd hang out at churches rather than the mall.
I love this!

I honestly don't see why everything has to be so political today. Just let the kids be kids and have fun with the holiday. I think that some people just love to argue or "make a point" about something that really isn't that big of a deal just to have something to talk about. Get over it or keep your kids home. It's really that simple. If I were concerned about the days that they talk about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. I would rather keep my child home than ruin things for everyone else. I don't think a 10 min. Santa visit is going to permanently scar any child any more than talking about Greek Gods, etc. would. This reminds me of the man who has made such a big deal about the pledge of allegiance just because he doesn't want his kid saying "God" in school. The child was not in his custody and was actually a Christian who was perfectly fine with saying the word "God." Her dad was using her and her situation as a student in a public school to make a point for himself and get his message across.

If the kids are happy and enjoying Santa, is it really worth getting all worked up about?
post #91 of 150
I'm curious of those who are anti Santa also feel schools should avoid doing anything for Valentine's and St. Patty's days. Both of these come from saints days, which make them not only Christian, but Catholic.
post #92 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2maya View Post
Santa is not religious, it is secular, and over 95% of Americans 'believe' in Santa.
Would you please share your source for these statements?

This link seems to disagree with the 'Santa is not religious' aspect pretty directly.

As for the 95% celebrate Santa...I haven't found ANYTHING to back that up, would you point me in the right direction?

Putting this really interesting discussion aside, I want to plant myself in the "don't our public schools have better things to do with their federally funded time than this, at least until we become a top ten nation for educational success" camp.
post #93 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
I'm curious of those who are anti Santa also feel schools should avoid doing anything for Valentine's and St. Patty's days. Both of these come from saints days, which make them not only Christian, but Catholic.
First, not wanting a random Santa to visit our children in a public school during class time does not make one "anti Santa." For me on a personal level, it's more about Saint Nicholas being a special and wonderful thing I don't want spoiled or used, which I think is what could happen in the situation the OP described. I don't view Santa as secular, he is a saint in my religion. I hate when people say he lives at the north pole .

I do also believe I should respect those who for what ever reason choose to not do Santa at all. I can celebrate my religion at home and church, I don't need to make it part of school too.

Second, my DS's school doesn't do much for either St. Valentine's day or St. Patrick's day. They did an art project featuring hearts last February, but that was all. I've told DS the story of St Valentine at home. I haven't gotten to St Patrick yet. They also don't do Halloween, DS and I still have a great time celebrating it ourselves outside of school. I'm very happy about this.

Separation of church and state protects the state from becoming religious and protects the church from becoming secularized. Both are important to me.
post #94 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen'nZoe View Post
She didn't say 95% of the population is Christian. She said that polls have shown 95% celebrate Santa in some form or another. It seems to me that that number may be high, but it includes some, like me who are agnostic, but celebrate Christmas, and some like my husband, who was raised Muslim but celebrates, and some like my friends who are Buddhist and Hindu but celebrate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
As for the 95% celebrate Santa...I haven't found ANYTHING to back that up, would you point me in the right direction?
The number *is* high and she can't back it up because it's not accurate. Not even 95% children believe(d) in Santa, let alone 95% of the current population. Here's an interesting article with the numbers. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16329025
post #95 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Interesting debate. Here is what I think:

If you went to another country, and people were celebrating a particular holiday (whether or not connected to religious roots), and you saw the kids laughing and enjoying themselves, would you see it as a horrible thing? Would you ask for statistics on how many families actually celebrate that holiday? Or would you appreciate the tradition you got to witness?

Half of my family is Jewish (and we have immediate family in Israel). Half of my family is Christian. My dad claims to be an atheist. DSD claims to be agnostic at the moment (I think she is still figuring things out). Yet, no one would think to oppose a celebration that is prevalent in a given culture. The reality is, prevalent majority of Americans "do Santa" in one form or another, be it religious or just the stockings and reindeer kind of way.

I don't tell my sister to put away her menorah, and she complements my Christmas tree.

What I dislike about the whole thing is how taboo the whole subject is. Ya know what? If it wasn't for Christmas, there probably wouldn't the "the winter break". If it wasn't for Christmas, we probably wouldn't be saying to each other "Happy Holidays".

Santa is a great mythical figure and very few kids realize the religious roots behind him. Should we ban Superman? What if I don't like superman? Should we not discuss Greek Mythology at our school? That was based on very much religious grounds.

I teach, and I stay away from Santa, Christmas trees, and the whole bit, but I wish I didn't have to.
Again, I am not "anti-Santa" - I am anti-Santa in public schools in the USA. We spent two years in Jordan where DD went to a local school and celebrated Ramadan and Eid with her classmates. If we lived in DH's home country then she would have celebrated Buddhist holidays at school (and had Poya day off every month). That would be fine with me as it is NOT the USA where I have different expectations about the public schools due to the separation of Church and State. Why the heck does Santa say, "Ho, ho, ho, MERRY CHRISTMAS"? Because he's Jewish? Because he's Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist? Nope, he's celebrating Christmas. Hence, the reference to separation of Church and State. While some Christians do not consider Santa a part of the real Christmas, Santa definitely associates himself with Christmas.

This is not to the PP above, but to some of the others, do NOT paint us as bigots or anti-diversity. We do celebrate other holidays with friends and family, OUTSIDE of public school. We celebrate Diwali with our Hindu friends, we celebrate Christmas with our Christian friends, we celebrate Hannukah with friends. Heck, DD is now in a Catholic school because that was our best choice academically and she obviously celebrates Christmas there. Being against Santa in school is NOT about being PC or thinking that celebrating with others is bad. My DD has probably been exposed to more celebrations and religious beliefs than 99.9% of the children in our very diverse area of the country.
post #96 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
Would you please share your source for these statements?

This link seems to disagree with the 'Santa is not religious' aspect pretty directly.

As for the 95% celebrate Santa...I haven't found ANYTHING to back that up, would you point me in the right direction?

Putting this really interesting discussion aside, I want to plant myself in the "don't our public schools have better things to do with their federally funded time than this, at least until we become a top ten nation for educational success" camp.
Sure, Google 'what percentage of the US celebrate Christmas.", you will find data from polls dating the past decade, varying from 93-96%. Most of the polls also say that only 80% is Christian
post #97 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2maya View Post
Sure, Google 'what percentage of the US celebrate Christmas.", you will find data from polls dating the past decade, varying from 93-96%. Most of the polls also say that only 80% is Christian
But 95% do not no "do" Santa.

It doesn't matter what is the distribution percentage is of religion. The bottom line is that NOTHING with ANY religious connotation should be in public schools. Period.
post #98 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
First, not wanting a random Santa to visit our children in a public school during class time does not make one "anti Santa." For me on a personal level, it's more about Saint Nicholas being a special and wonderful thing I don't want spoiled or used, which I think is what could happen in the situation the OP described. I don't view Santa as secular, he is a saint in my religion. I hate when people say he lives at the north pole ..
Your distinction proves the point. Saint Nicholas is a religious figure. Santa is a cultural figure who lives at the north pole.

I found this image to be particularly helpful

But, seriously, while Santa Claus clearly has Christian roots, he has a very different role in our culture. He is in every mall, ending parades, starring in Disney movies, and making commercials. He is more of a marketing figure than a religious figure. That alone, however, might be a reason to keep Santa out of public schools
post #99 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2maya View Post
Sure, Google 'what percentage of the US celebrate Christmas.", you will find data from polls dating the past decade, varying from 93-96%. Most of the polls also say that only 80% is Christian
But if Santa isn't religious, as you stated earlier, then those figures aren't relevant to the Santa discussion at all.
post #100 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

It doesn't matter what is the distribution percentage is of religion. The bottom line is that NOTHING with ANY religious connotation should be in public schools. Period.
I disagree. I think the proper interpretation of a doctrine of separation of church and state is that no single religion can have authority in a government school system. Separating church and state doesn't mean that one entity must pretend the other doesn't even exist. It means that each must respect the other and allow each one to proceed unhampered by the other. No religious authority can dictate policy or set curriculum in a state school, but I don't think it means that there is no place in school for exploring various religions. A good educational system will not ignore a significant area of importance to its students. A mature culture that wants to develop tolerance and understanding will be able to find a way to bring these concepts into the classroom.

If Santa is making a visit to the classes, then I would hope that the students have also been participating in activities that help them understand Diwali, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Solstice... and also other important celebrations at other times of the year.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at School
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Santa visiting class in public school