Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I'm coming from this as a non-Christian parent, and this<br>
*really* rankles me.<br><br>
Ethan came home from school with two Thanksgiving projects. One was<br>
a construction paper story book in which he cut and pasted typed<br>
paragraphs from a worksheet.<br><br>
These were the parts that bother me:<br><br>
On the first page:<br>
"The Pilgrims were people who lived in England a long time ago.<br>
They loved God and they wanted to worship Him in their own way."<br>
(Capitalization theirs, not mine.)<br><br>
and on the last page :<br>
"The Pilgrims wanted to have a big feast to thank God for taking<br>
care of them. They invited their Indian friends and had a special<br>
day of Thanksgiving. Today, in the United States, we still celebrate<br>
this day to thank God for the good things we have."<br><br>
This sounds much more like a Sunday School lesson, which has no<br>
place in a public school classroom. I am seeing red..<br><br>
Also, he came home with a turkey and on each tail feather he wrote<br>
something he was thankful for. On the first feather was the<br>
word "god". He did *not* get that from home, and he sure as hell did<br>
not need to get that from school.<br><br>
I am so pissed right now..I am wanting to either yank him from his<br>
classroom or yank him from school altogether. Another Pagan couple I<br>
know whose son is in the same grade are fuming about this too.<br><br>
What would you think if your child came home with something like<br>
this? I don't wanna fly off the handle here but this really, really<br>
bothers me. What about the other children in the classroom who are not Christian?<br>
Erica
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,581 Posts
Even as a Christian, this does sound out of line to me coming from public school. My kids have never brought anything like this home from PS. I would speak to the teacher about your values, and talk with your ds about an alternate version of the story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,863 Posts
no way is that acceptable. ick.<br><br>
how disrespectful.<br><br>
i hope you call and I would even probably go in the next day and speak with the teacher.<br><br>
I thought they were supposed to stick with the facts at public schools? I dont pay taxes for conditioning.....double ick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,570 Posts
What would bother me the most is the "Indians and pilgrims were best friends" stuff, which I also got in school. The god stuff is out of line as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
I'm a Christian and I think it's inappropriate. Public schools should not be teaching religion. If it happened in my dd's public school, I'd have a visit with the teacher. If I didn't get satisfaction there, I'd have a visit with the principal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,039 Posts
The first sentence alone would not bother me. That is one reason they came here. But the last paragraph is a comonly tought inaccuracy that I would be offended by.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,035 Posts
I wouldn't have a problem with this part of it:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"The Pilgrims were people who lived in England a long time ago.<br>
They loved God and they wanted to worship Him in their own way."<br>
<snip><br>
The Pilgrims wanted to have a big feast to thank God for taking<br>
care of them. They invited their Indian friends and had a special<br>
day of Thanksgiving.</td>
</tr></table></div>
It's a fact that the Pilgrims came here because they wanted to worship God their way. It's also a fact that they gave thanks to God for their bountiful harvest after many months of hardship. It doesn't make sense to ignore a fact, simply to spare some people's feelings. And capitalizing the word God is the accepted usage in the English language, whether one is Christian or not. "God" is a proper name and as such is capitalized. We also capitalize "Zeus" and "Aphrodite," but that doesn't mean we are required to worship them.<br><br>
I would take issue with this statement:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Today, in the United States, we still celebrate<br>
this day to thank God for the good things we have</td>
</tr></table></div>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Yikes! That would annoy the heck out of me!!!!!<br>
We are athiest and my first grader came home the other day telling me that he believes in Jesus. (Pardon me?!?!?!)<br><br>
I exlpained that it was all pretend, just like Santa is just pretend, and the Easter bunny is pretend. It all goes along with the holiday.<br>
I said that Jesus and Santa are for this holidayt, and the next holidaty it will be The cupid for Valentines day.<br><br>
Not sure how you should handle it with the school, but good luck! There is no place for any of that stuff in school.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,362 Posts
Yes, absolutely out of line. I really wouldn't prefer any of it but I agree with daylily that the last part is the worst of it. The parts before can at least be argued to be historical.<br>
I would definitely go in to chat with the teacher - Xmas is coming up you know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
I would be seeing red too. It does sound like a Sunday school lesson. Do you live in the bible belt? I doubt that would fly here. Even the first part would bug me because of the way it is worded. I am fine with my child learning about God in a historical context, but the way it is worded takes it for granted that the audience is Christian. My child has no idea who God is or what the word "worship" means since it isn't a part of our lives. The subject just hasn't come up. So if he is learning about it in school I would expect the teacher to explain it just like she'd have to explain who Zeus was and why people worshipped him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momsgotmilk4two</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Even the first part would bug me because of the way it is worded. I am fine with my child learning about God in a historical context, but the way it is worded takes it for granted that the audience is Christian.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Exactly. To say that they came here for religious freedom would be accurate and respectful and none of that other junk is either neccessary or appropriate. I'm wondering, since it's been a couple of weeks, did you speak to the teacher about it?<br>
If he got that at Thanksgiving, I can only imagine what they'll do at Chistmas!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,284 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi everyone,<br><br>
I think this bothered me most of all because I hadn't expected it.<br>
My son also has Aspergers, a form of high functioning autism and he<br>
is *very* literal. And he believes everything his teacher says is<br>
indisputable fact.<br><br>
In the beginning of the year the teacher would tell the kids "Be<br>
sure to do your homework tonight." My rule was that we do homework<br>
immediately upon coming home (after a snack.) But because his<br>
teacher said *tonight* he thought he didn't have to do it upon<br>
coming home. I finally called her after school one day and had her<br>
explain to Ethan that he had to follow my rules. I also suggested<br>
she change her wording of the phrase. This is something we fight<br>
with every day.<br><br>
And now he believes we celebrate Thanksgiving to thank God for the<br>
good things that we have. <sigh> It's not fun trying to reprogram<br>
an autie's way of thinking. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Thank you for all of your advice, I appreciate it. I met with the VP who pretty much blew me off by saying the booklet was a historical narrative and that the teacher had to use words the 2nd graders would understand. I provided her with two other copies of Thanksgiving stories I found on the net (easily enough by typing "Thanksgiving Story" in Yahoo) that I thought were much more appropriate and easy for the kids to understand. I doubt she even said a word to the teacher about it.<br><br>
I met with the<br>
teacher later that same day about other things and I mentioned I was interested in<br>
finding out the source for her Thanksgiving story. She said it came<br>
from one of the kids reading books. I don't know whether it was a<br>
text book or a free time reading book in the classroom. I guess I<br>
should find out. But we chatted about how I'm not raising my<br>
children in the Christian faith (though I didn't go into detail) and she was very accepting. She<br>
asked if things like Santa and Frosty and such were all right and I<br>
said of course. I just didn't want him to come home with a lesson<br>
about Christmas being Jesus' birthday and that sort of thing. She<br>
was okay with it.. I think..I would wager she'll be more careful in the future.<br><br>
I guess I'll just wait and see. It just bothered me a bit, and other<br>
parents with 2nd graders in the school that didn't get the project<br>
were bothered by it too so I just wondered I should go with it. I<br>
think it may be okay.<br><br>
The vice principal is peeved at me again. It's interesting having<br>
someone actively ignore you. lol Oh well..<br><br>
Thanks again.<br><br>
Erica
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,022 Posts
They're teaching it in American public school because it's American history. This is the original Thanksgiving proclamation.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor -- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."<br><br>
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be -- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks -- for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation -- for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquility [sic], union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed -- for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted -- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.<br>
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler<br><br>
of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions -- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually -- to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed -- to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn [sic] kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord -- To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease [sic] of science among them and us -- and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.<br><br>
Given under my hand at the City of New York<br>
the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.<br><br>
George Washington</td>
</tr></table></div>
Would you rather they not be taught actual history?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,755 Posts
Actual history can be taught without the assumption that every student shares the same religious beliefs as the pilgrims.<br><br>
How about 'they believed in God and wanted to worship Him in their own way'<br><br>
The second one could stay as we've established that they believe in God.<br><br>
The last line, I agree is the worst. How about<br>
'Today, in the United States, we still celebrate this day to be thankful for the good things we have.'
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,022 Posts
It does say 'they':<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">On the first page:<br>
"The Pilgrims were people who lived in England a long time ago.<br><b>They</b> loved God and they wanted to worship Him in <b>their</b> own way."<br>
(Capitalization theirs, not mine.)</td>
</tr></table></div>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,570 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">'Today, in the United States, we still celebrate this day to be thankful for the good things we have.'</td>
</tr></table></div>
Not everyone does that. Some people fast for protest. Some people do nothing at all. Some people get drunk and cry the whole day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,755 Posts
They loved God and they wanted to worship Him in their own way<br><br>
This statement assumes that God exists and the reader believes in Him. I was just trying to give an example of how easy it is to reword things just a bit so it's more clear to children that they are learning what the pilgrims believed, not learning that those beliefs are a fact to be taught in school....does that make sense.<br><br>
And yeah Greaseball I know, but technically it's a national holiday right? And I doubt public schools would get away with not explaining it at all. I mean being thankful is supposed to be the point of it anyway. I think? And it probably wouldn't really go over well if they started teaching that 'people get together to celebrate and be thankful. except the ones who pass out in bars or commit suicide instead, lots of people do that during the holidays! and some people do nothing or fast in order to protest things we refuse to teach you about.' Then too the way history is taught is whole nother ballgame.<br><br><br>
Like I said I was just trying to point out that it wouldn't be hard to tweak it a bit so it didn't assume the student believes in God, which I think is totally innappropriate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,362 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>phathui5</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Would you rather they not be taught actual history?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I think most of us who had an issue with this were most upset by the last part - not historical but claiming that that is what Thanksgiving is today. For many of us, that is not what Thanksgiving is. We are adults and can deal with the difference between what is presented and what is real - but that is harder when you are "teaching" to young children. If people want religious ed, they will take their child to Sunday school or pay for private religious schooling. I think the true historical part was ok - me, personally, not super crazy about it as little kids have a hard time understanding gray as opposed to black and white, but ok, we live in a society where more people than not are Christian (I assume?) But the last part is inappropriate in a public school IMO. The last part is not history.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,493 Posts
I would have no problem with "They wanted to worship their God in their own way" Absolutely accurate.<br><br>
"They loved God" Ok maybe, although the Puritan thing always seemed to me more about fear than love, but whatever.<br><br>
The stuff about today, I really don't like,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,032 Posts
I also think the last part was really the only potentially offensive part.<br><br>
My kindergartener came home with two Thanksgiving art/craft projects: one was a corn cob she had made using paint fingerprints for the kernels and the other was a totem pole! Dh and I had fun talking to her about the totem pole. Naturally she was thrilled with the fact that she had colored it and glued it together, but she couldn't articulate the meaning behind it.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top