Religious Schools Question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JustMe, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Apr 20, 2012

    I have read on here several times that a teacher isn't always required to practice the faith of a school in order to teach there...that he or she must still teach it, but doesn't have to be a member of the church or what have you.

    What about students? If a student refuses to pray, for example, what typically happens? If a high school student insists on letting it be know that he or she does NOT believe in or accept the religion, are they forced to leave the school? Even if the parents want their child attending the school?

    Just curious...I have NO idea why this even came to my head. :)
     
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  3. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    I don't know. All the religious schools I've applied to do not require you to be a member of a particular church, but do require you to sign a statement of faith and live your life accordingly...not doing so can result in termination. I read and evaluate that statement. If I disagree with one aspect, I will have to uphold, I simply do not send in the application. I don't know what would happen for students who do not participate in the required religious aspects.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    We accept only baptized Roman Catholics into the Catholic high school in which I teach.

    Opting out isn't a choice. We make no secret of the fact that we're strong believers in practicing our faith. Our kids are expected to stop wherever they happen to be at noon to pray the Angelus, to participate in the prayers that begin each class, to attend monthly mass as a community, and to do all the other activities that differentiate us from a public school.

    A kid who wants out will find it easier to simply fail out. Fail 3 classes at the end of the year, and you're gone.

    And, for the record, you don't have to be Catholic to teach in my school-- but you DO need to be Catholic to teach religion.
     
  5. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Most Catholic schools in my area, especially the grammar schools do not require students to be Catholic. I'm not sure about the teachers though, because since its the lower grades the teacher is required to teach religion. I volunteer to teach religion to the public school kids after school and I can't imagine teaching it, even to a younger age and not being Catholic. Some of the rules/practices are confusing to me and I was brought up going to church and practicing my faith regularly. And the kids come up with some questions that are hard to answer. I don't see how you could teach it if you weren't completely comfortable with the religion.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Ahh, okay...see, I didn't realize some (most?, all?) schools require baptism. Have you ever had to deal with a student who didn't agree with the school's religion, even if already baptized, yet did well academically?
     
  7. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Our students don't have to be Catholic. They do have to take religion and go to mass however. They do not have to participate in mass. Our teachers don't have to be Catholic either but have to teach it.

    For some reason I thought they did have to be baptized but that wouldn't make sense if they don't have to be Catholic.
     
  8. engineerkyle

    engineerkyle Companion

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    My oldest son is in a Christian School...

    Although we are Christian, we are not as "cliquey" or as dogmatic as the school. He often feels that he is on probation every day. I am thinking of asking him if he'd prefer a public "school of choice" up the road for next year.

    Kyle
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 20, 2012

    I went to a Lutheran School for 8th grade. We had a Sikh kid in our class (wore his turban and kept his hair long and everything).

    We had to attend the school church services every Wednesday morning, and he had to be present as well, but I don't remember them ever making him pray or participate in the service. He only had to be present because everyone else was there and there were no teachers to watch him.

    He did have to learn about the Bible when we switch to the Religion subject (the middle school was run like an elementary school with one main teacher and a different subject for every time period), but he wasn't forced to convert or even encouraged to convert from what I saw. He drew the most amazing political cartoons.

    We had Buddhists in the school as well.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My daughter goes to a Christian school but we are not religious. She's required to go to chapel once a week and take a Bible class. She is respectful, but when asked, she admits that she is... undecided. She keeps an open mind, and I feel confident that she'll find her path.
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    As a teacher I've applied to some private schools in the past or at least tried to. 1 school told me that I had to have gone to one of "their" colleges in order to be a teacher at their school. Another school would have required that I change the way I dress.

    A co-worker is looking at private schools for her children. How the school presents their faith, for a parchiol (sp? just doesn't look right) school is something she's looking at.
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    The school where I am at is a Christian school, and all staff members and teachers have to be Christians. Students can come from any faith, or no faith at all, for that matter. But, they are required to participate in Bible classes. I have no problem in first grade, but I have heard from teachers in older grades that sometimes the students can be more resistent to the Bible in general. If it becomes out right defiance, which is against school rules (obviously), they would have to deal with the disciplinarian.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I am atheist/agnostic, and I feel that ALL STUDENTS should read the Bible. It has affected Western Culture in so many ways, and it's a wonderful connecting thread behind many different people and societies. I think kids who are rebelling against learning about the Bible simply are using a hotly debated issue to side-step work and learning.

    I would only advise teachers teaching students of all faiths or non-faith to not teach the Bible as undeniable fact, and merely teach it for its historic, cultural, and moral value.
     
  14. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I taught at a Catholic school and we had 2 Jewish students and a Jewish teacher. There was not a Jewish school in the area and the school was one of the best at the time. They were required to take religion and pass like any other student. They were sisters and their parents looked on it as a life learning experience. On Christmas Day, their entire family donated the time to a local Catholic dining hall and it counted as a school day for the girls so they could take off for the Jewish holidays. My sixth grade teacher was Jewish in a Catholic school. She would switch off with another teacher in the group who would teach us religion while she taught spelling to the other class. She was my all time favorite teacher and I always wanted to be just like her. She was a science teacher and that is why I became a science teacher. I would actually like to look her up one day and let her know how big an impact she made on my life. Right n I teach at a Baptist school and I was definitely led by God to be there.
     
  15. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I was head of a Lutheran Preschool. I was not a member of that church, but found ways to have the Lutheran religion taught by members of the church.
     
  16. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Apr 21, 2012

    I teach in a Catholic school that is part of the state's choice program. As part of that law, they can opt out of religion classes and Mass, but we've only had one or two students do that. We just had alternate activities for them at that time.
    You don't have to be Catholic to teach at the school, but your contract states that you have to uphold the teachings of the Catholic church and act in accordance with them. You do have to be Catholic to teach religion(as a formal subject), which is funny, since we're generally teaching by example all day!
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    If you are teaching in a school that is of a certain faith and the persons in that school believe that the Bible is factual, how could they teach it any other way? That makes no sense. Obviously that's the whole point of the religious school. At my school we teach the Bible, not religion. But, we teach the Bible as factual. Otherwise why have a religious school? That's pretty much the point.
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think Peregrin was saying that it would make sense to teach the Bible for historic, cultural, and moral value even at schools which teach either all faiths or non-faith...meaning at schools which aren't necessarily religious or a Catholic or Baptist or what have you, but could benefit from using the Bible as a teaching tool for again the historic, cultural, and moral value.

    I've appreciated the replies, everyone! :)
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    That makes more sense!
     
  20. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    I love that we have religious schools. I hope they thrive going forward, and would welcome parents' spending my tax money - no strings attached - to support them.
     
  21. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    I attended a Catholic high school. About 75% of the students were Catholic and the rest were Protestant. We even had a Buddhist foreign exchange student one year. Everyone was required to attend Mass once a week and take 4 years of religion class. Being non-Catholic wasn't an issue, and we even had several students convert.
     
  22. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I teach at a Lutheran school. All of the teachers are expected to be Christians; currently all of our teachers belong to Lutheran churches. In order to teach religion classes, you have to have either attended one of our synod's universities or completed special coursework (it's about a 2-year process). If not, the teacher will switch off with another teacher.

    All of our students are required to attend weekly chapel services, participate in leading chapel (each class does 1 or 2 a year), take religion, and complete memory work. I don't know if we've had any students of other faiths, but we have had some students who were not Lutheran. They still learn the catechism and go through confirmation classes (taught by the pastors) in 7th and 8th grade. It's never been an issue; I guess those families just accept it as part of attending our school.
     
  23. anky2930

    anky2930 Rookie

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    In my opinion religion should not be imposed on anyone if you have interest its your personal belief and if you don't then it's also ok.
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think everyone here will agree with that.

    The question was about relgious schools. In the US and Canada, and many other places as well, public school is free. But many families choose to pay to send their kids to schools of a particular religion. A number of us here work in such an enviornment.
     
  25. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    I work at a christian school.... u do have to be a christian to teach at our school. I know some catholic schools in my area that you don't have to be a catholic to teach in.

    There are a few students that are not christians but they still have to memorize the bible verses like the rest of the classes etc.... they still have to pray... i dont think there has been a time when a student has said they will not do these things.... As a school we would be happy to accept someone who is not a christian because we want the kids to realize how much God loves them.

    I am not sure how it would be with a jewish, muslim school etc.... I haven't had any experience at those schools.
     
  26. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My mom used to work at a christian school. The teachers had to sign a "statement of faith" indicating that they were a practicing christian and believed in the doctrine. There was one catholic teacher at her school- she had to sign something that said she agreed with the christian doctrine and would not teach about catholic doctrine. The kids are required to participate in chapel once a week and in bible class every day, which includes memorizing bible verses. They would be expected to sit with heads bowed during prayers, although I suppose only they would know if they were actually praying. I don't know that anything would happen to a child who said they didn't believe. "Witnessing" is a huge part of the christian religion and I think the staff would want to keep the child at the school in order to convince him/her that the religion was correct. There are children at the school who don't attend church or whose families aren't actually christian- that is okay as long as they're willing to go along with the religious stuff at school. In fact, some parents in the past have told my mom that they send the kids to the school because they want the kids to get the religious background/education without having to take them to church every Sunday!
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    In public school, religion is barely discussed....NEVER imposed. In parochial schools, religion is not IMPOSED, but is part and parcel of school philosophy, and influences pedagogy and practices....
     
  28. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    :thumb:
     
  29. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Parochial schools are perfectly free to impose religion. If they wish, for example, they could punish refusal to pray or participate in religious ceremonies, or could fire teachers or expel students who convert.
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    True. But I think the part that we need to mention is that, in the US and Canada at least, kids attend those religious-based schools by choice. IT's not the state imposing the religion, it's a decision made by the individual family.
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I've worked in parochial schools. This was never an issue. I was going with the following definition: 'to force something unwelcome or unfamilar to be accepted or put in place'. Religion is generally not unwelcome or unfamiliar to those who attend parochial schools. And since in the US, parochial schools are a CHOICE, it kind of removes the 'force' factor.
     
  32. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Yep, most who, driven by some antireligious ideology, blither on about "separation of church and state" have no idea what the Establishment Clause means. This ignorance extends, alas, to more than a few in the education biz, reaching even into the inner sancta of social studies departments.
     
  33. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I don't think this is true at all. I can barely make it through a class period without discussing something linked to religion. I am sure most social studies teachers feel similarly.
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We talk a lot about religion in my foreign language class. Mythology is closely linked to my foreign language, so that's a big part of it. Another thing is that my foreign language is the official language of the Catholic Church. In fact, the only place where Latin is the official language is the Vatican. Many of my students bring in "Latin Moments" in the form of prayer sheets or books of hymns written in Latin. They're excited to share that they knew what "Pater Noster" meant when they heard it in church last Sunday. I always give them a forum to share their outside-the-classroom Latin Moments, and many of those Latin Moments are churchy. I definitely don't push religion or try to convert anyone, but I do make students aware of the many and varied connections between my language and certain religions.
     
  35. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    In the South, religion, specifically Christianity, is a big part of the culture. It's openly discussed with the children and among the staff, school board meetings and football games often begin with a prayer, and the Alma Mater for the school from which I graduated (a public school) is as follows:

    Dear God, please bless our school and all it stands for. Help keep us free from sin, honest and true. Courage and faith to make our school the victor. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen.
     
  36. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I agree...Christianity is just part of the culture. It's brought up and incorporated fairly freely.
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Agreed.
     

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