Halloween party at school- not OK with me. - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 113 Old 10-19-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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I have a child with sn who really needs to be in school. She has fine motor (as well as other) issues so the writing is a big deal for her. If she has to do *more* to get caught it, it makes it even harder, cuz she can barely do the writing for each day as it is.

Some kids have issues with school, and telling them it really doesn't matter if they bother to show up or not can make those worse.

It also depends on how many other days they miss, and this child already misses Jewish Holidays.

I'd do the morning.
Well that, and some schools/district have strict attendance requirements where your child is truant after missing X days and/or will be held back due to X number of missed days. Ds attends a charter school with a strict attendance requirement, though his ps school last year was more relaxed as long as the absences did not constitute a pattern or were just excessive.

Ds is one that vacations really mess up his internal calendar and behavior.

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#62 of 113 Old 10-19-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I think taking "mental health days" are a mistake with kids. I know that most mornings (if not all) I reaaaaally don't like getting out of bed at 6am to get ready for work/school. Its tough. To think it was even remotely optional would create a battle between DD and I. I think it sends a message that school is not important or that it is optional.

I know many moms do it, so perhaps it works for you and your child. But I remember how I felt as a kid whenever I was sick and missed a day....behind. It was fun for the moment (to watch TV and convalesce), but when that classwork that I missed became homework, it was less fun

Also, attendance is a big issue in schools. My biggest concern as an educator is that if I have a child who struggles and they have missed a lot of days, it can sometimes completely take the possibility of a learning disability off the table. The law says we have to be able to rule out every other possible reason for academic difficulty. Vision and hearing must be OK (or remediated by glasses/hearing aids) and the child must have had adequate access to school. Excessive absences are consider "lack of educational opportunity." No diagnostician can diagnose a learning disability without attendance being there. I always was so sad for my kiddos that were often tardy or absent. It certainly appeared they had a learning disability, but there was truly no way to know or establish that.

I realize that you guys aren't talking about excessive absences, but wanted to explain a bit about how its viewed by the school system. Its not just about funding, control, etc. Its truly important for the child to be there to receive the full benefit.

A friend of mine who is a former homeschooler recently had the idea to take a mental health day with her 4th grader to enjoy our beautiful fall weather. Her daughter's reply? "Can I at least go to school for a little bit?" In general, I hope this is how most kids feel about their school. They like being there, they get into a groove, and its hard to have a routine thrown off.

Of course, different strokes for different folks. Just would hate to have any "mental health" days taken only to have a significant illness or family issue crop up later and be pushing the boundaries of acceptable absences.

And of course, I'd have zero issue with my child missing a party if I was against the holiday or something. But I'd probably first see if they couldn't just go to the library for that hour and read a book, watch a movie, etc.

XOXO
B

mama to Milena Anjali (4/26/06) and Vincent Asher (4/13/09) ~ married to the love of my life since 2002.
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#63 of 113 Old 10-19-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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Hey OP, I can understand your concern. I haven't read all the posts and I'm sure that people have had lots of good advice, but in your situation I would be up front and honest with the school so that they know your objections and reasons for not sending your DC to the party (or to school that day).

It became an issue at my DD's Montessori school and now they have a costume party a week before Halloween. Halloween is not addressed at all and the costumes are centered around a theme that they are studying (this year it is reptiles and dinosaurs). This has worked out well for everyone (the school is very multi-cultural). Frankly, the school probably wouldn't have thought about it one way or another unless parents had been honest about their reservations. I don't think taking a sick day or other type of day is that helpful in the long run. I think it makes more of a difference if you are honest and withdraw your child from things you find objectionable.

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#64 of 113 Old 10-19-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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Going in the morning and leaving right before the partly also allows the mom to be HONEST with the school. I like being honest. I like my kids seeing me being honest.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#65 of 113 Old 10-19-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post
It became an issue at my DD's Montessori school and now they have a costume party a week before Halloween. Halloween is not addressed at all and the costumes are centered around a theme that they are studying (this year it is reptiles and dinosaurs). This has worked out well for everyone (the school is very multi-cultural).
this would make me nuts as a parent. if they celebrate halloween, does that mean their kid has to be a dinosaur for halloween or make two costumes? seems expensive and a pain in the arse to me.

I also have a hard time figuring out how this is so different than halloween parties as they are normally done. the lack of candy? having a theme? no jack-o-lanterns?

I like a previous poster's idea about a harvest party better. that has some educational value and the theme is still seasonal. If they are wearing costumes, why can't they just wear whatever costumes they want (with a rule of "no scary masks")?

my mother sews beautiful halloween costumes for my children every year. I'd be so bummed if we had to cobble together an additional costume in the dinosaur/reptile theme, and DD would be disappointed to not get to wear her new grandma-made fabulousness. perhaps I'm off base, but I suspect there are at least a few grumbling parents at your school who feel the same way as I would.....
XOXO
B

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#66 of 113 Old 10-19-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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my mother sews beautiful halloween costumes for my children every year. I'd be so bummed if we had to cobble together an additional costume in the dinosaur/reptile theme, and DD would be disappointed to not get to wear her new grandma-made fabulousness. perhaps I'm off base, but I suspect there are at least a few grumbling parents at your school who feel the same way as I would.....
XOXO
B
That's cool, I totally respect that you would be bummed. We receive the theme for the party via the calendar at the beginning of the school year (perhaps I should have mentioned that in my last post - since timing is an issue). For us, however, it is a challenge, and one that DD looks forward to. Each year she knows that she will need to come up with an idea based on a theme. I make her costumes, and this year she is going as "Queen of the Dinosaurs" which means a reptilian-type sheath and a lot of gauze and sparkles. She picked out the fabric herself. Leading up to this was several trips with her class to the natural history museum and to meet a real paleontologist. The goal is to be creative and the costumes must be handmade. Last year the theme was birds and the year before "favorite storybook character." I personally think it opens up a wide variety of possibilities while allowing some focus. It is a process for us and we enjoy it. I haven't heard any other parents grumbling, but they apply to the school knowing that there are certain events throughout the year for which they should be prepared, including the announced theme.

This works for me because it takes the focus off Halloween while giving DD and her classmates something to look forward to. She only gets one costume so she invests herself totally in the theme costume. They will visit a farm next week to pick out their own pumpkin, but pumpkins, to me, are about fall and harvest, not Halloween (although used at Halloween).

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#67 of 113 Old 10-19-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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OP, I understand your position.

I'm very thankful that our school doesn't do a Halloween party. They do a Literature Parade where the kids are allowed to dress up as a character from a favorite book they've read. The character can not be from a movie or TV show, must be from a book. And then, they "parade" from class to class in costume, holding up their books and then they talk about their books in class.
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#68 of 113 Old 10-19-2010, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I spoke to the teacher. I very simply stated that we don't celebrate Halloween and I don't want him participating in the party. So we discussed some of the logistics; it seems there will be recess/lunch, then the party (class moms setting up party while the kids are at lunch) and then they'll pack up the party and go to a special (she's not sure which special it is because the schedule wasn't in front of her, but she'll get back to me) and then after the special the kids go home.

I'll give DS the choice of being picked up before or after lunch, and also whether or not he wants to go back to school for the special. His answer will probably depend on which special it is. In any case, taking him out of school for the party isn't going to impact any academics.

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#69 of 113 Old 10-19-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Easter and Christmas are of pagan origin, too. Most Christian holidays are, when you get down to it.
So true, which is why I don't do any of those, either!

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I think it sucks that a (nominally) religious holiday celebration is held in a secular school. What happened to freedom from religion and separation of church and state?
I so feel you on that!

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I would just keep him out, that's what we did on columbus day because we don't agree with that holiday.
I find that fascinating and wonderful. I'd love to see a whole thread about other lesser-known "holidays" that people choose not to commemorate, and the reasons why.

OP, I'm glad it worked out for you. I just want to encourage you to teach your kids what you believe and why and also to teach them by example never to be hesitant to speak up about their choices in a respectful way. Most teachers have dealt with non-celebrators and you probably didn't throw them for a loop at all. Enjoy the extra time you'll get with your ds!

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#70 of 113 Old 10-20-2010, 12:20 AM
 
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I would approach your child's teacher in advance. As a teacher I'd want to know the real situation, in advance. Many teachers plan Halloween themed activities for the whole week before Halloween and she'll want to be prepared to accomodate your child. You don't need to make a stink, just send a note saying that your family does not celebrate Halloween and that you're planning on keeping him home on the 29th, and to please let you know if there are issues with tests or assignments.

I'd also be prepared to pull him out for the entire day. In many schools there's a Halloween parade before or after the party, or other celebratory events that day like special read alouds etc . . . I really don't think any learning happens on that day so I wouldn't feel bad about him missing it.

I wouldn't bring it up with the PTA unless specifically asked -- e.g. if a room mom calls you to volunteer, say no and explain why. Hopefully the PTA isn't the one making the decision about what Holidays to celebrate.

If you do decide that you'd be more comfortable with the school not celebrating (something I wholeheartedly agree with, but it sounded like you weren't going to fight that battle) the principal would be the right person to approach.
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#71 of 113 Old 10-20-2010, 04:41 AM
 
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The only other thing I'd do, Ruthla, is write a nicely worded letter to the principal (or district if you want to make it district wide) to explain the situation. I'd give examples of things that kids who do not celebrate Halloween could do (read in the library, help in the office, etc.). Most parents can't pick their kids up early from school is there is an objection to an activity and you can be a voice for those parents. There's no reason to ban Halloween altogether, but no one should be forced to attend, either.

I'm glad you have a plan.

Jenn
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#72 of 113 Old 10-20-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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In all honesty, I don't think schools need to celebrate holidays, but should instead celebrate the seasons. Many times, children are on overload by the time the holiday has come around and there is so much a teacher can do with the seasons that there is no reason the celebrate Halloween, Christmas, etc.

How about pumpkin weighing, pumpkin floating, fall foliage walks, tree bark rubbing etc?

Has anyone ever asked the kids if they want to celebrate the holidays or do we just assume that we should?

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#73 of 113 Old 10-20-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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this would make me nuts as a parent. if they celebrate halloween, does that mean their kid has to be a dinosaur for halloween or make two costumes? seems expensive and a pain in the arse to me.

I'd be so bummed if we had to cobble together an additional costume in the dinosaur/reptile theme, and DD would be disappointed to not get to wear her new grandma-made fabulousness. perhaps I'm off base, but I suspect there are at least a few grumbling parents at your school who feel the same way as I would.....
XOXO
B
This isn't a regular public school and is likely private; it's a choice to send her children there. I choose to send my ds to a charter school with uniforms, which would not be an choice some here would make (search for the uniform threads ).

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#74 of 113 Old 10-20-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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After having 4 kids in public and private schools I can say that it is stressful to deal with one holiday after another in school. FTR, I grew up in a Jewish/JW family, and while we don't actively practice either, our family doesn't celebrate most holidays.

While I completely understand that most people enjoy celebrating the holidays at school, I do believe that it can be exclusionary, especially in a culture that is becoming rapidly more diverse. I also agree that religious celebrations belong in religious schools. I am completely open to children learning about different cultures, religions and celebrations (and believe it to be essential), but I feel that celebrating them in a public school is inappropriate for two reasons. First, it excludes children on the basis of their religion (would it be okay to exclude children based on their skin color or gender?) and secondly, some religions may find it offensive for non-believers to participate in their observances.

For that reason, I used to keep mine out the entire day and send a polite note explaining why. The reason I find this more effective than picking up before the party is because it is one of the only ways to really get the school's attention. Where we live, a child is counted as present if they stay through lunch and the school is paid for my child to be there for that day. If he misses the whole day, the school is not paid for that day by the state. A boycott of sorts, to encourage more inclusive activities. Also, as the kids get older, it can be stressful for them to hear about a party all day and then be removed from the school-especially if all the kids are dressed up and treats are mentioned. Also, IME the days of holidays tend to be themed throughout the day-Halloween worksheets, Xmas math games, etc and candy is given out to everyone-which is a whole different issue.

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#75 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 09:04 AM
 
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Can I ask why you are ok with Thanksgiving but not Valentine's day? Not being snarky, I really am curious. I was a comparitive religion major in college and find religions fascinating. I'd love to understand this better. Is because it is named after a saint? It's my understanding that thanksgiving celebrations were originally religious holidays as well...much more so than valentine's day.

Katie

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As an Orthodox Jew, my family doesn't celebrate Halloween or Valentine's Day. I just found out that my son's 3rd grade classroom is going to have parties for those two occassions. I know the exact day and time of the planned parties because the PTA asked for parent volunteers to help with the parties. They're also planning parties for other occasions that I have no problem with, such as Thanksgiving and "Winter Holiday."

I do NOT want my child celebrating Halloween. The party is scheduled for Friday afternoon, October 29th, from 1:00-1:45 PM.

Should I keep him home on the 29th? Pick him up from school early so he misses the party?

And if I do keep him home or take him out early, should I tell the school why I'm taking him out or take him out for "an appointment"? I'm not sure how much of a stink I want to make over this.
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#76 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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Can I ask why you are ok with Thanksgiving but not Valentine's day? Not being snarky, I really am curious. I was a comparitive religion major in college and find religions fascinating. I'd love to understand this better. Is because it is named after a saint? It's my understanding that thanksgiving celebrations were originally religious holidays as well...much more so than valentine's day.

Katie
That's an interesting question and I'm curious to hear responses. For one, I think that Thanksgiving is typically celebrated on an observed national holiday (no school and work for most people - at least in the U.S.). My DD's school has a potluck feast the week before, with everyone bringing a dish originating in the Americas (north, south or central). The emphasis is on the harvest and specifically foods of the Americas. I think there was probably a religious aspect in the orginial Thanksgiving celebrations because of thanks to G-d for the harvest (think Pilgrims). But maybe that is more inclusionary than specific Catholic or Protestant holidays which focus on certain people or belief systems of those religions. Many different cultures and religions can express and do express thanks and appreciation. I think that Thanksgiving is inclusive for everyone, even if you don't have a specific belief system. Just MHO.

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#77 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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Well, the original thanksgivings were very very very much a christian celebration. They were religious in nature. But yes, you can celebrate the broader theme without being religious. But that could apply to Valentines day too. One can celebrate the idea of love without believing in St. Valentine. But honestly I know a lot more bout thanksgiving than Valentine's day, so someone may need to educate me on that one.

Katie

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That's an interesting question and I'm curious to hear responses. For one, I think that Thanksgiving is typically celebrated on an observed national holiday (no school and work for most people - at least in the U.S.). My DD's school has a potluck feast the week before, with everyone bringing a dish originating in the Americas (north, south or central). The emphasis is on the harvest and specifically foods of the Americas. I think there was probably a religious aspect in the orginial Thanksgiving celebrations because of thanks to G-d for the harvest (think Pilgrims). But maybe that is more inclusionary than specific Catholic or Protestant holidays which focus on certain people or belief systems of those religions. Many different cultures and religions can express and do express thanks and appreciation. I think that Thanksgiving is inclusive for everyone, even if you don't have a specific belief system. Just MHO.
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#78 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanksgiving is about two things. Firstly, it's the historical remembrance of the first "white" settlers in America (which I teach to my children as being not entirely positive, as it led to the destruction of the Native American cultures who were already here.) Secondly, it's simply a day set aside to give thanks for all the blessings we have. Yes, I know that it was a combination of Christians and Pagans who first celebrated Thansgiving in this way, but it was never really set up as either a Pagan or a Christian holiday. It's been a secular celebration since its inception. And the concept of thanking the Creator for all of our blessings is certainly appropriate!

Here's one explanation: http://judaism.about.com/od/american...anksgiving.htm

Halloween has a long history as first a Pagan holiday and then the Church adopted it and transformed it into something Christian when the Pagan converts to Christianity woudln't give it up. It never lost its religious significance during that time, and some still celebrate it as a religous occasion today. The fact that most people today are unaware of the religious significance is irrelevant; it's still innapropriate for an Orthodox Jew to participate in this.

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#79 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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Has anyone ever asked the kids if they want to celebrate the holidays or do we just assume that we should?
I'm pretty sure if you went in & asked the kids(especially in Elementary school) whether they wanted to do something for the holiday that they'd say yeah. They know that it means no work & most often food & fun.

The school I work in the Grade 6's plan their own parties & the first thing they did was vote on whether to have a party or not for Halloween.

In most non-religious schools if you were to poll the kids/families most would not have a problem with Halloween/Easter/Valentine/Christmas celebrations.

Most schools will have a couple of families who don't do holidays, dances, etc. How many depends on the school population.

In my kids school there is 1 Jewish family. They have 1 dd in Grade 3. The school sings Christmas carols in the halls, used to be for 1 week at random times during the day for 15minutes, now it is on the last day the kids go out & sing. This girl stays in the class & does fun not christmas themed stuff with a teacher. She is the ONLY kid who does not participate in this. I don't know what they do for other things as she hasn't been in my dd's class the last 2 years. They are not singing religious songs but the generic-leaning towards Santa songs.

Should the other 260+ kids miss out on Christmas carols becuase of this 1 girl?
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#80 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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Exactly what I was saying!
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#81 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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I disagree that thanksgiving is in honor of the original settlers, as thanksgivings were celebrated before that in Europe. The "first thanksgiving" was just the first one here...it was already an established religious tradition. However, I agree that as it is about giving thanks to the creator it is most likely appropriate for any and all montheistic religions. I was just pointing out that it has just as religious a background as Valentine's day, although maybe i'm missing the significance of Valentine's day. That was my question. I completely understand not celebrating Halloween as an orthodox Jew. It was the Valentine's Day part I was asking about.


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Thanksgiving is about two things. Firstly, it's the historical remembrance of the first "white" settlers in America (which I teach to my children as being not entirely positive, as it led to the destruction of the Native American cultures who were already here.) Secondly, it's simply a day set aside to give thanks for all the blessings we have. Yes, I know that it was a combination of Christians and Pagans who first celebrated Thansgiving in this way, but it was never really set up as either a Pagan or a Christian holiday. It's been a secular celebration since its inception. And the concept of thanking the Creator for all of our blessings is certainly appropriate!

Here's one explanation: http://judaism.about.com/od/american...anksgiving.htm

Halloween has a long history as first a Pagan holiday and then the Church adopted it and transformed it into something Christian when the Pagan converts to Christianity woudln't give it up. It never lost its religious significance during that time, and some still celebrate it as a religous occasion today. The fact that most people today are unaware of the religious significance is irrelevant; it's still innapropriate for an Orthodox Jew to participate in this.
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#82 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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Should the other 260+ kids miss out on Christmas carols becuase of this 1 girl?
Yes.

It's called the tyranny of the majority. Just because "most" people are doing it, doesn't make it less oppressive to those that are not doing it. I think it sends a horrible message to ALL the students.
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#83 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Yes.

It's called the tyranny of the majority. Just because "most" people are doing it, doesn't make it less oppressive to those that are not doing it. I think it sends a horrible message to ALL the students.
Whereas I would say that all religious holidays and customs should be covered. To totally ignore the existance of christmas in the public schools is to encourage ignorance. I'm not saying that these holidays should be celebrated in schools, but they should be taught. I am soooo grateful I learned about different faiths in my elementary school. I am shocked that many adults don't know what various Jewish and Muslim religious holidays are or what they are about. We should WANT our children to LEARN about others and their beliefs. Otherwise we are encouraging ignorance.
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#84 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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Whereas I would say that all religious holidays and customs should be covered. To totally ignore the existance of christmas in the public schools is to encourage ignorance. I'm not saying that these holidays should be celebrated in schools, but they should be taught. I am soooo grateful I learned about different faiths in my elementary school. I am shocked that many adults don't know what various Jewish and Muslim religious holidays are or what they are about. We should WANT our children to LEARN about others and their beliefs. Otherwise we are encouraging ignorance.
Yes, but there is a line between learning about other faiths, cultures and beliefs and trying to emulate their customs. So you could make the argument that singing Christmas carols is actually religious participation (especially the ones that...oh I dunno...mention Jesus?) and thus inappropriate for public school kids. It would be like a class learning about Islam by whipping out prayer mats and praying to Mecca.

This is something that came up in a town I used to live in about ten years ago. The school district held a huge Dia de los Muertos celebration that coincided with a bunch of stuff in the community (altars all over downtown, lots of cool skull decor everywhere etc.). I think each elementary classroom sponsored and decorated one of the altars in the downtown area. It was a big deal. ANyways one mother was so horrified she sued the district because she argued that they had crossed a line between learning about a religious practice and participating in that practice. And she won.

That all being said I personally do not agree that all of these examples constitute tyranny of the majority. I have personally had students whose parents have balked at controversial things taught in my class, and they have pulled the religion card...which certainly exempted their kids from participating. But I would have been beside myself if their narrow mindedness could prevent larger numbers of willing kids from learning something important...like about Islam for example.

ETA: Obviously I don't think that an honest religious conflict is showing narrow mindededness...but that was not happened in my classroom.
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#85 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ktgrok View Post
I disagree that thanksgiving is in honor of the original settlers, as thanksgivings were celebrated before that in Europe. The "first thanksgiving" was just the first one here...it was already an established religious tradition. However, I agree that as it is about giving thanks to the creator it is most likely appropriate for any and all montheistic religions.
Thanksgivings were celebrated in North America before the whites showed up. Many native peoples had feast in the fall and thanked their gods for the bounty. It a fairly universal concept, with strong foundations in both monotheistic and polytheistic traditions.

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although maybe i'm missing the significance of Valentine's day. That was my question. I completely understand not celebrating Halloween as an orthodox Jew. It was the Valentine's Day part I was asking about.
It's the birthday of a saint, so is St. Patrick's Day. Both have clearly Catholic roots.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#86 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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I would never assume my child's class should celebrate something just because our family does. I would want my child's teacher to respect our religion and understand if we needed to miss a day of school.

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#87 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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If you really want to get down to it, the modern US Thanksgiving is mostly about emphasizing a shared, if largely mythological (and, yes, they were aware of that even in the not-exactly-enlightened late 19th century when the modern US Thanksgiving was invented) heritage between the North and South in the post-Civil War period.

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#88 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
Yes.

It's called the tyranny of the majority. Just because "most" people are doing it, doesn't make it less oppressive to those that are not doing it. I think it sends a horrible message to ALL the students.
hmm, I consider it Democracy. The voice of the majority. There are many things that happen in school, work, life that 1 person(or 1 group of people) may not agree with. Having a 1-2 hour Halloween party does NOT hurt those who wish to not attend. If they were forced to attend then yeah there'd be a problem. Do those who are against Halloween lobby to get rid of Halloween in their towns, stores, neighbors houses?

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Whereas I would say that all religious holidays and customs should be covered.
I agree. A few years ago for my dd's Christmas Concert each grade did a play on different December celebrations in different countries/cultures. They learn about different types of celebrations that people have.

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Thanksgivings were celebrated in North America before the whites showed up. Many native peoples had feast in the fall and thanked their gods for the bounty. It a fairly universal concept, with strong foundations in both monotheistic and polytheistic traditions.
In Canada Thanksgiving has nothing to do with Pilgrims & such. It is a celebration of the harvest. It could be taken religiously if you are thanking whatever diety a person may or may not believe in for good weather, good crops, healthy animals etc. Or it could be taken compeltely secular & being happy that the harvest is over/getting ready for winter.

for most people CND Thanksgiving is nothing more than a day off work to stuff themselves with some turkey & pie.

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This is something that came up in a town I used to live in about ten years ago. The school district held a huge Dia de los Muertos celebration that coincided with a bunch of stuff in the community (altars all over downtown, lots of cool skull decor everywhere etc.). I think each elementary classroom sponsored and decorated one of the altars in the downtown area. It was a big deal. ANyways one mother was so horrified she sued the district because she argued that they had crossed a line between learning about a religious practice and participating in that practice. And she won.
This shows just how sad of a culture we have become. ANYONE can take offense to anything. Before you know it we won't be allowed to teach kids colours in school because what is green to 1 person could be gold to a person with a color vision deficiency.
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#89 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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Where we live, they do not allow Halloween parties at the public schools. I would say something and then insist that your child be released from school during that time without penalty.
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#90 of 113 Old 10-21-2010, 05:10 PM
 
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hmm, I consider it Democracy. The voice of the majority. There are many things that happen in school, work, life that 1 person(or 1 group of people) may not agree with. Having a 1-2 hour Halloween party does NOT hurt those who wish to not attend. If they were forced to attend then yeah there'd be a problem. Do those who are against Halloween lobby to get rid of Halloween in their towns, stores, neighbors houses?
I think, though, when a public entity like a school offers an event that has direct or indirect religious meanings (even if supported by the majority), then the public entity is promoting a certain religion (even if not specifically intended). I don't want a theocracy (whether majority or minority point of view). I think that it would be better to either not celebrate any specific holiday, or set up a system by which a wide variety of observances are studied (not celebrated). For me, there is a big difference between public and private expression (public schools vs. your neighbor's private property or store). Having a 1-2 hour Halloween party may not hurt specific individuals who do not wish to attend, but for me it erodes the idea that the public sphere (as in publicly funded institutions like schools which are open to all) are free of religious influence, no matter how benign the holiday may seem to those celebrating it. I personally don't care about the holidays, but I do care about who is promoting it (even if it is defined as a "party").

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