Friday, July 13, 2007

Rrrrr.....

Today I received an email from another teacher friend. I'm sure you're all aware of the controversy of saying the pledge of allegiance in school. It's banned and there are many reasons that I could dig deeply into about that, but I won't. The bottom line is that we (teachers) aren't allowed to celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Halloween, Easter, ect, like we celebrated as kids. And let me tell you, it's hard not to see those kids' faces light up when they talk about the holidays and the excitement and tell them we can't have a "Christmas" party. But that's a whole other topic for another day. The fact is that we can't even talk about church in class, even just that someone WENT there on the weekend, without someone getting "offended." I keep ranting about this, and I just wanted to share this email....

**Teacher Applicant after being interviewed by the school administration, the eager teaching prospect said:

"Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning, and I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their T-shirt messages and dress habits. You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self esteem. You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship, fair play, how to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job. I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of anti-social behavior, make sure all students pass the state exams, even those who don't come to school regularly or complete any of their assignments. Plus, I am to make sure that all of the students with handicaps get an equal education regardless of the extent of their mental or physical handicap. I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, newsletter and report card. All of this I am to do with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a big smile AND on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food welfare! You want me to do all of this and then you tell me... I CAN'T PRAY?"**

Okay, so one of the lines of this email says that I am responsible for teaching patriotism.....and not teaching kids the pledge and the history of the flag is patriotism??? I'm not saying that teachers should preach or make students believe in what they believe in, but come on!!! What's wrong with talking about the DIFFERENT beliefs that many DIFFERENT people hold? Isn't that teaching diversity?? Where I work, I am completely in the minority. 100% the minority. So just between myself and my students, I HAVE to include diversity in everything I do in front of them, every piece of work I produce, every sentence I say, EVERYTHING. I feel myself getting completely off the main topic here, which is that teachers are so censored as to what we can say or teach to students. Of course there is a line that only parents should cross as far as teaching their own children many things that a teacher shouldn't be held responsible for, and I would never cross that line because I respect my students' parents and how they raise their children. I know the line of that email said PRAYERS, but that just opens up the door for so many other things, including and ESPECIALLY saying the pledge, and just because it has GOD in it, we aren't allowed to say it in school anymore.

3 comments:

Mary-LUE said...

Is that a state thing? We do still say the pledge in California (only once a week, but we do still say it).

My son went to private school and so the holidays were still observed. It was very strange to have my daughter start school and realize that Halloween, Christmas and Easter aren't even mentioned.

It is all about perspective and proportion, or actually, that there is a lack of it.

Tee said...

God bless you!! LOL

Seriously, I feel your pain. My daughter was in a commercial for a local church years ago and each time she wants to take the video copy to school and share it for Show & Tell I have to go through a bunch of crap and get permission, blah, blah, blah.

Maybe if God were permitted in the classrooms then teachers wouldn't have to worry so much about checking for weapons, etc.

Besides, what's wrong with letting the kids make up their own minds on what (or who) they choose to believe in ?

I didn't realize the pledge of allegiance was now under attack. I knew that holidays were a big no-no in lots of places. One mother called me at home years ago when I was homeroom mother and planning a Halloween party. She wanted to make sure I knew she didn't believe in witches or ghosts and that everything should have a pumpkin or cat theme. I politely suggested that she take over the homeroom mom position. :)

Lori said...

We still have a Christmas party - we just call it a "Holiday" party so it covers CHristmas, Kwanzaa, Hannakuh (sp?)....I could get on my teacher soapbox on this, but I won't...I feel the same way you do! I've seen that email before and say "AMEN!" I kindof buck the rules a bit too ~ I don't preach to them, but I also don't hide that I go to church...oops...I'm starting to get on my soapbox! ha! ok..I'll stop...but our school does still say the pledge they just aren't REQUIRED to participate...