Spin off another post... Religion & Schools

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SpecialPreskoo, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Read the post about religious quotes at the bottom of emails and how the recipient feels about seeing it in emails to them got me to thinking...

    How do you feel about people wearing religious symbols (necklaces, bracelets, printed shirts if t-shirts are allowed at your school, tie-tacks, etc) while they are talking to you face to face in school?

    Would that not be the same as the signature in an email? Both are presented at school- face to face conversation or read in an email.

    Just curious but didn't want to hi-jack that thread.
     
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  3. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    As I said in the other thread, this wouldn't bother either even if I thought it was inappropriate.

    None of this type of stuff upsets me because what someone else is wearing or writing at the bottom of their emails has nothing to do with me, my job or how I do my job. Why get upset over something that has no real effect on me?
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I don't mind if someone wears jewelry symbols such as bracelets, necklaces, etc. Printed T shirts would be too much for me, but they're not allowed at school.

    I really don't like people to push religion (or politics or anything that is 100 % of the person's own choice), so I wouldn't like to see it in an email, but small jewelry is ok, or the hats the Jewish wear (I'm sorry, I don't know what it's called) and things like that.
     
  5. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Speaking of politics ... our Union hands out buttons and t-shirts to wear at work (pro-Dem candiate) before national elections. In 2008, pro-Obama shirts were worn by teachers all throuhgout the district although most were not from the Union and were items people got themselves. In a district/city like Baltimore, this is common and not-frowned upon by TPTB.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jewelry and headwear (such as a yarmulke or hijab) is more than acceptable. I have a Star of David but shy away from wearing it around students. However, t-shirts, buttons, or other garb advocating any religion or politics could be seen as an attempt to influence the beliefs of students.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We are not allowed to endorse any political candidates or be involved in any campaign activities during contract hours, or while on school campus. We are allowed to wear religious symbols, but may not wear political things. We are not allowed to wear printed T-shirts unless they are school shirts on designated days. In that case, only teachers wearing FCA or First Priority shirts would be wearing religious symbols. I think that religion has a place, but I don't think a teacher should encourage religious (or political) beliefs in a public school classroom.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    To me there is a difference between promoting your religious beliefs on your person and promoting them on something that belongs to the school (like the email system).
     
  9. El sol

    El sol Rookie

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    I tend to claim ignorance to whatever religion people have and find a way to change the topic of conversation if the other person brings it up. It is not meant as disrespect but most often than not, during school days, there's many other things to talk about besides religions, or politics for that matter.

    Whatever they wear is not my concern, really. I have yet to see religious quotes in e-mails directed to me but I don't ever read past the signature though so it would not be easy for it to become an issue for me.
     
  10. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Required wear and religious jewelry is perfectly acceptable IMO (although the current trend of wearing rosaries as fashion jewelry is actually bothersome to me, but thats more students than adults). Shirts might be a bit much, but they wouldn't be allowed at my school anyway.

    I'm a US and World History teacher. My department is extremely religiously diverse and extremely open with our students about our religious affiliations. We teach a ton about religions, from their beliefs to discrimination to impact on history. Being able to point to ourselves and each other humanizes those religions in an area that's very heavily baptist. Heck, every year I have to convince them that Catholics ARE Christians. :p So I have no problem with students knowing our religions.

    I do NOT believe teachers should ever reveal political leanings, though. We have a responsibility to present both sides (IF you teach a subject in which it would be covered) with as little bias as humanly possible and let students make their own way without any influence.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    This is a good way to think about it.
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This.
     
  13. 2ndTimeAround

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    My bio kids wear Christian tees to school. Many of my students do too. I wouldn't wear them (even if they were in dress code). But I'll fight it to the end if someone tells me I cannot wear a cross pendant to work.

    I have coworkers that seem to think it is perfectly okay to dismiss the opinions of anyone that is a Christian, mock certain beliefs in class, etc., but would be all up in arms if a Christian teacher said anything regarding religion at all. A coworker of mine was called out by the principal because another teacher reported her for discussing religion in class. The discussion? Student #1 said - Mrs. Smith, my cousin said he knows you. Mrs. Smith - yeah, I know him. Student #2: Johnny? You know his cousin Johnny? How do you know him? Mrs. Smith: we go to the same church. End of conversation.

    But because everyone knew that Johnny was Christian, they now knew Mrs. Smith was too. That exchange infuriated a coworker of ours.

    I am amazed how for SOME, some people, it is perfectly okay to "connect" with students by sharing how you too did drugs in high school but turned out okay, but it isn't okay to say you go to church with a mutual acquaintance. @@
     
  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I truly couldn't care less about what people wear.

    The only thing that bothers me is when people have tried to recruit me to join their church congregation. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but I don't like anything shoved down my throat.
     
  15. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    Our constitution enables us to have freedom OF religion. That's not freedom FROM religion. My goodness, if a teacher wants to wear religious jewelry, he or she is expressing his or her own personal beliefs. Are we not allowed to have our own individual beliefs??? Just because I am wearing a cross around my neck doesn't mean I judge you because you don't.
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I would be more bothered by people at school trying to give me pamphlets or something like that regarding their religion than what they wear. That would really be promoting religion more than someone wearing certain jewelry.
     
  17. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I don't see a problem with somebody wearing any type of religious jewelry, as long as they aren't obnoxious about it. If they put up religious imagery in their classroom (unless doing it in the context of displaying images from multiple religions), I'd say something though.
     
  18. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    I work in a pretty conservative and Christian city in Alabama. Some female teachers wear cross necklaces, cross earrings, cross bracelets, etc... Students wear t-shirts that show where they go to church. Some of these t-shirts have Bible quotes on the backs of them. Walmart here sells a pink hoodie that says "Saved by Grace" and shows Ephesians 2:8-10 as the source. I don't mind any of it. :)
     
  19. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I don't have a religion.
    But, for my coworkers who do, cool for them.
     
  20. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Doesn't bother me at all. I find there is a big difference between wearing a religious necklace and someone who is sending me religion in e-mails and refuses to quit when asked to do so.
     
  21. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    If you go to your Admin and they say the religious imagery is "ok" or that they won't make the teacher take it down and the teacher won't take it down, then what? Are you going to take further action or can you just suck it up?

    I guess I don't get why you think this is worth "fighting/complaining" over when you don't even have to step foot in the other teacher's room if you choose not to? How does this hurt/affect you?
     
  22. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I don't know what lengths I'd go to. Why would I consider it a big deal? Because I know it's been found unconstitutional, and because I think children get enough evangelizing from authority figures without throwing in a teacher, also. It doesn't hurt/affect me, but an adult drinking on school grounds, or swearing, or engaging in inappropriate PDAs, etc., doesn't affect or hurt me either, but I'd consider it worth at least having a quick conversation with somebody over.
     
  23. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Ok then, going back to the post about religious quotes in their school email... wouldn't that be the same thing? If they want to put a religious quote in their email, then they should be able to?
     
  24. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    I am an atheist who works in a very conservative Christian community. I don't hide my beliefs, nor do I really promote them, with staff or students. Many (most) of the faculty members that i work with are very active in their respective churches, and a few even talk about church activities at work (with adults). Many of them see students at church, and even give them rides to church, invite kids to church, etc. It doesn't really bother me, it's just the reality of where I work. Only once have I mentioned the inappropriateness of a religious reference to administration, and even then, it wasn't because I disapproved of it, but was an attempt to keep the district out of possible litigation.

    Would I be offended about religious quotes, etc, in email signatures? No, I wouldn't. To be honest, I don't even look at people's email signatures. I wouldn't be upset/offended about people wearing religious tshirts, symbols, etc, either. That is their choice, their religion, etc, and it doesn't really affect me. At many of the schools I have worked at/attended, etc, there are often religious clubs sponsored by a faculty member, which I think is a great idea, and have even referred students to when I thought it was something they were looking for and were part of that particular religion.
     
  25. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I feel that personal, non-verbal, non-linguistic depictions of faith are much different than verbal-linguistic declarations of faith either by speaking out loud or placing a portion of religious text in every email you send out from your work email address.

    If someone wears a cross, they are not forcing others to read their scriptures or preaching. They are holding a personal symbol of their faith and keeping it to themselves.

    It would be like putting up Bible scripture (or readings from the Qu'ran or Torah) on the wall of their classroom. It's not a place it belongs.
     
  26. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Freedom of religion can equate to freedom from religion if your personal belief is that you do not want to be subject to the preaching of others.

    However a cross or other garment of faith generally is not something that is equivalent to forcing others to read scripture from your book of faith.
     
  27. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I think it is all in how it is done. There is a big difference between inviting someone to church and harassing them over and over about attending church.
     
  28. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    As for the original question. I am fine with it. I don't wear a cross myself, but I like seeing it when others do. I'm also not a big fan of shirts with a lot of graphics on them so I wouldn't wear one to work that shows something about my religion. Email signature- That would require me to figure out how to add one. A Bible verse on my wall behind my desk I might do. The wall behind my desk is my space. I have pictures of my family and other personal stuff there. That is my space to use with what makes me happy.
     
  29. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Just playing devil's advocate, so to speak (and pun intended), but would anyone be offended by signatures like this?

    If so, what's the difference?
     
  30. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    I would be amused by those quotes, mostly because of the backlash that I am sure they would cause.
     
  31. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Agreed, with the modification that freedom from religion means freedom from government-sponsored religion. As representatives of the government, teachers ate subject top some restrictions (especially since their jobs specifically relate to children).

    People do have a right to privately (I.e., on a personal level express their religion. This includes wearing jewelry (technically I don't believe this has been litigated for teachers, but there is a decision that implies that would be the case).

    Go blue, I must admit I'm baffled by your stance that if it doesn't affect you personally, it doesn't bother you.I find it hard to imagine you follow that stance consistently.can you tell me if it would bother you if a co worker put up pro-boy quotes without any pro girl quotes? What if, for example,a co worker had a banner with "boys are good at math" on their class wall? That wouldn't affect you either.
     
  32. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Honestly I see those quotes as every bit as unprofessional. Please remember that we are adult teachers. Not 13 year old stirrers of the pot. We have to get over wanting to force any view into someone's face in our mode of professional communication.
     
  33. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    I sure hope you realize that I also consider them unprofessional. I'm not trying to stir the pot so much as presenting a counter-argument to the email signature conversation.
     
  34. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Fair enough.
     
  35. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    There is a difference between the ones you posted and the Bible quotes I see.

    When I see Bible quotes they're uplifting, encouraging passages. Not proselytizing and definitely not proclaiming superiority over other religions.
     
  36. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Agreed. Most quotes from the Bible that are used are done to be positive (atleast in my experience). Quotes about the devil, not so positive.
     
  37. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    LaVeyan Satanism isn't literally about worshipping Satan. It's secular humanism.
     
  38. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    In the previous thread, the quote that was in question was more about proselytizing rather than showing a positive message. Regardless, because it is a segment of a scripture of a particular religion coming from someone who technically works for the government, it's not really appropriate.

    I agree that they are positive, and I personally don't have a problem with ones that are just positive, it still counts as sharing/promoting a religion above other religions, from a person who is in a position of authority over children, and works for the state which isn't permitted to promote a specific religion. I don't know about everyone else, but I've exchanged emails directly with students so they would also see whatever signature I have in my email.

    I don't think some parents (or some teachers here) would be happy if a teacher added scripture from the Qu'ran to the emails they sent to their students or parents regardless of if the message was positive or not. And in the position we have as educators where we deal with people from all walks of life, we should probably be mindful presenting ourselves in a way that would make ourselves available to a wide range of people, not just those of a specific religion.

    By the way, it's nice to see you again bob. We haven't seen you in a while.
     
  39. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I recall the quote that you are referring to, for me that was just positive not anything else. But people can read it different ways. I personally have not used scripture in my signatures, I haven't put any kind of quotes there. Just because I don't not for any other reason. I am okay if other do, no big deal to me really. Do students know that I believe in God, yes. Do they know I go to church, yes. But I don't make a big deal about it. I just don't hide it from them, it is apart of who I am and I am honest to my students.

    Thanks, I was out of the classroom the past year and a half, back in with a 3rd grade classroom to start this semester.
     
  40. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Did anyone tell you what you're allowed to wear specifically or is it written somewhere in your school or employee handbook? That would be the most logical place to look it seems. If it says you shouldn't wear/do something related to religion then it shouldn't be done in school. If only one person has a problem with it then should everyone have to stop doing it for that person? I'm not saying I would be upset with the person for complaining but I personally never wear anything the other posters have mentioned. It's good to know whether or not I have a choice and I would think it would be spelled out somewhere specifically if it was prohibited.
     
  41. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think that's perfectly fine. I also don't hide from my students that I'm gay. (I do keep it to myself that I am atheist/agnostic, but that is because I find that very religious students will shut down if they realize their science teacher is atheist and will be very suspicious of everything I say even to the point of ignoring evidence-they already come in with the preconception that you can't be a scientist if you're religious or that science is about making up lies to trick people out of their religion) I just think it becomes a problem if you're continuously telling people you are religious or sharing your scripture with them on a regular basis. For instance, most parents would become very offended if I told their student on a regular basis that I was gay or told them I was gay every time I sent them an email.

    It's different from them hearing about it through word of mouth from past students and then confirming it once during the year with me personally (which is what usually happens). It never comes up again, and I don't mind it. It's nice to know something about your teachers, but you wouldn't want the teacher constantly pushing their personal life details or views constantly on those they teach.
     

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