Son asked about his religion in class

My 6th grade (12 year old) son’s social studies teacher was teaching a unit on religion. He started the topic off by asking for all the Jewish and Christian children to raise their hands. He then asked the children who had been baptized to raise their hands. My son felt singled out to be the only child to not be Christian or Jewish. He said there were a handful of others not baptized. At first I was furious as my son felt singled out. But I’m trying to figure out if what the teacher did was either illegal or inappropriate.

Posted: October 3rd 2012

George Locke

I don’t feel like I have enough information to know whether this is worth addressing. If this teacher has a pattern of favoring Christians and/or Christianity, then this event is part of that pattern. It’s also possible that the teacher was trying to demonstrate diversity within the classroom, albeit in a clumsy way.

I can imagine several other explanations, but if you’re concerned, by all means contact the teacher to share your feelings and ask him about how he deals with religion. (Maybe this goes without saying, but try to treat him as an ally until he proves himself otherwise. If you put him on the defensive then it’ll be harder to make progress.)

Posted: October 19th 2012

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Dave Hitt www

It was inappropriate, but I doubt it was illegal.

I’d suggest asking for a private meeting with the teacher to discuss it. It could be something they did off the cuff and didn’t realize was inappropriate. The teacher’s reaction should determine what you do next, if anything. If they realize it was a problem and assure you they won’t do it again, you won’t have to do anything else. If you get a sense that this is the first in a series of troublesome “teaching” methods, take to the next level.

Posted: October 9th 2012

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It was inappropriate; teacher’s should not teach in a way that divides children based on religion.

Similarly, if the teacher had asked which children lived in their own house, or had a new car, or had gone on vacation to Hawaii – that would also have been inappropriate.

Posted: October 8th 2012

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