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Religion and Engaging with the Teacher

  • 22-09-2021 7:31pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭ karlitob

    hi teachers

    Question: what advice could you kindly offer me as to the best way to approach my child’s teacher about religion in the classroom.

    background: it’s a religious primary school, normal enough stuff. She’s in senior infants now. Our family is atheist. Last year we didn’t bring this up for obvious reasons. But we don’t want her praying, being taught anything religious, or anything like that. Neither do we want her singled out and ostracised in the class.

    would really appreciate your help on the best way to approach things. Her teacher is great and she’s really enjoying school.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,662 ✭✭✭ Jim_Hodge

    It's far from an uncommon situation. Just arrange to meet the teacher and explain your concerns. You won't be the first case in most schools.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭ karlitob

    While I agree in general, I kinda wonder at this school.

    i will arrange - I’m just looking for pointers and any insights from those who’ve been through it - from both ends, parents and teachers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,888 ✭✭✭ SouthWesterly

    Mine don't do religion along with probably 25% of the class.

    They just colour or read. Doesn't mean their not listening but it's doing them no harm

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭ pooch90

    Teacher and also parent to a JI opting out of RE. (also disagree with the no harm thing)

    It's honestly not an issue opting them out at all. We have all dealt with kids opting out. I'd explain what you'd rather the child do during this time so they aren't just sitting there bored for 30 mins. Maybe even say you'd provide little books like join the dots (good for fine motor skills) or extra handwriting/phonics/maths. Have a plan before you chat.

    Actually, have you spoken to your child about it? I'm wondering how to broach it with my little fella. We just kinda threw him into school without so much as telling him what god means!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭ karlitob

    Thanks for that. Good points I’ll take on board. Thank you.

    Yeah I’m struggling with that also. She has mentioned god. And she’s started putting her hands together. I find it incredibly upsetting to see such a small little person being inculcated into a cult at such an early age. I know the background to education and religion in ireland - I’m not naive to it. I think religion is a personal thing that should be kept at home. She saw all the communion dresses today and of course, all talk about it.

    but I tell her there is no god (obviously). I tell her it’s make believe. And it’s just no different to fairies or unicorns.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭ pooch90

    Yeah, I want to teach him about being respectful but that it's just not what we believe but others do, and that's fine. It's just not for me and daddy. He loves science so we might work that angle....

    It also puts me in a **** position being a teacher in another school, teaching something I don't believe.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭ karlitob

    I just don’t know how you do it. I really don’t. It must be so hard - on the inside, you know.

    Is it still illegal for schools to discriminate against hiring gay teachers?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 113 ✭✭ starlady1

    If you don't want your child taught anything religious you need to be aware your child is in (I assume) a catholic school and most of the other children will be doing religion. You need to decide if you are opting your child out of religion what they will do during religion time.

    You can pick another subject e.g. maybe English or SESE, or at that age fine motor skills, handwriting etc. Your child must be able to do this work independently while the other children do religion.

    You need to ask the teacher for a meeting to discuss the above but first decide exactly what you want for your child during religion time if they are to opt out.

    Interestingly I have seen children of other nationalities and other faiths participate in all religion classes etc but they just don't take part in sacrements. They still completed the religion book and did work in copies. This may be an option for you but of course you can also opt out completely if you wish.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭ karlitob

    Thank you for this. Good points that I wills prepare for.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭ karlitob

    No - I did for you taking the time on your first post.

    Not for your personal attack on me on the second post.

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