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Jill's Place
7 days worth of rants & raves

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Dammit, I'm pissed. Somebody PLEASE tell me if I'm off base here. We've recently discovered that in the Preschool Lauren attends, the teachers have the kids say grace before lunch & snack. We're not Christian. This is a problem. We discovered this because L wanted us to say grace before dinner, and we asked her where she learned it. See, that even sounds weird in a way, because it sounds like it's a bad thing to know. It's really not, it's just not our thing. Hooray for other people if they want to raise their kids in a religious environment, we just don't. And I don't particularly want issues of morality or faith being handled by anyone other than us. Especially without our knowledge or consent. The word brainwashing was bandied about my house today. Mark talked to the Director, who talked to the teacher. The Director didn't tell her to stop it, though, just that we were bothered by it. So this afternoon, Mark talked with one of the teachers, and even that bugged us. See, the lead teacher is Ms. Jenn. Ms. Tammy is the other teacher, and she has always adored Lauren. She was also her teacher in the 2 year old class, so we've known her a while. But Ms. Tammy only switched to the Preschool a couple of months ago, shortly before Lauren was transitioned in. From what she told Mark, Ms. Jenn was already doing the prayer thing before she got there, and she never really thought a parent would be bothered by it. So she was asked to talk with one of us to see if she could smooth things out (that's the shorthand version, anyway.) But I would think that if a parent has concerns, the lead teacher would call to set up a conference. Especially if she's the teacher who started this practice. This was not done in the nursery, 1 year old class, 2 year old class, or 3 year old class. So I was a little pissed that she didn't make the effort to talk to us, but instead had the second teacher deal with us, even though she'd only been in that class for a short time. Here's the thing(s). These kids don't know what they're saying, it might as well be Hickory Dickory Dock to them. There's that brainwashing thing again. We were not informed about this practice. Apparently the parents were asked in the Fall if anyone objected, and no one did. However, the parents of the kids (including L) who recently moved up to the Preschool as a group were not notified or asked. Another thing - there's at least one group of siblings in the nursery and 2 year old class who appear to be Indian. As in, Hindu, more than likely. What will happen when one of those kids reaches Preschool age? "Sorry, your religion isn't the correct one . . ."? This school receives funding through the Housing Authority and from grants. Federal, state, and local dollars. They are setting themselves up for a huge lawsuit, I would think. Not from us, that's not our style, but it's likely to happen at some point. Also, if we had wanted L to attend a religious school, there are plenty of them. We specifically wanted her in a secular environment, and we can take care of her faith as we see fit, thankyouverymuch. If we make a big deal about this, as I'm tempted to, will that have negative repercussions for Lauren? I will not tolerate that. But are we to let her mouth words we don't believe (in a setting where it shouldn't even be an issue), and try as best we can to handle her questions? Or should we pull her out of a familiar place that she loves and try to find another Preschool for her? And do what in the meantime? Dammit, we should not be put in this position! So, really, am I off base here?
6/23/2004 09:57:00 PM :: ::
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