Friday, April 22, 2011

Bible Thumped in Oklahoma

I just got finished writing a query to a very popular advice column. I doubt if I'll get any kind of a response from that venue, but I'd like to share my letter here and see what advice you all might have to offer.


Neither my husband or I are religious, and we decided before having children that we would give our kids a well rounded religious education once they were old enough to understand that they have a choice in their beliefs.

That being said, our oldest daughter is 6 years old and is in kindergarten. A few weeks ago, she came home from school and told me that she'd asked her teacher about her cross necklace and her teacher responded that the cross reminds her of Jesus and how he died on the cross to be the one true lord and savior. While I disagreed with the fact that her teacher shared that with her, I understood that my daughter asked the question to begin with, inviting that answer.

Today, on Good Friday, my daughter came home from school and told me all about Easter and how Jesus died to absolve our sins and how we should praise God for sending us his only begotten son, etc. etc. etc. Her teacher told the entire class the story of Easter with her own religious belief embellishments added in. (I'd like to note that my daughter goes to public school.)

I'm angry and upset that such an authority figure would take time out of class to push her own religious agenda upon a group of impressionable 5 and 6 year olds, none of whom are old enough to realize that they can question her authority. I would like to take this issue up with the school, but I am not sure what exactly I should do.

Some friends have suggested obeying the chain of command and talking directly with the teacher first. I am afraid that if I do this, my daughter will be singled out as the kid with Hellbound parents. Other friends have suggested going directly to the principal or even the school board, but I don't want to get the teacher fired. Aside from this incident, we've never had any issue with the teacher and my daughter loves her.

I'm afraid that no matter what I do, the situation may not be resolved, as I live in the buckle of the Bible Belt and most people around here take complaints against their public religious beliefs as a personal offense or something to be shrugged off and laughed at.

So what do I do?