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help for parents/child starting in Catholic school

  • 11-06-2021 2:49pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,281 ✭✭✭ Gatica


    for a number of reasons we are sending our child to a Catholic ethos school. We do not hold those religious convictions ourselves as parents, and this being our first experience of this, would love any tips from other parents who may have gone through this before.

    We have already got a school book list, which includes a RE book with Jesus on the cover. I really don't wanna waste money on this, or fund religion in this way.

    While we don't want to isolate our child from their class, we don't want that to be taught as fact to them, nor to be made to pray or take part in other religious activities. Has RE changed much in the last 20 years? should we just flat out take our child out of the RE class? I've no objection to them knowing about religion or that people believe different things, different gods, god or no god at all. However, I have this unease about the fact that it will be an immersive indoctrination about god, "sinful" humanity and other such things. Can this be done in a sensitive way without stigmatising the child for being "different"?

    Would love to hear other's experiences and any suggestions and tips.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,332 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    Gatica wrote: »
    for a number of reasons we are sending our child to a Catholic ethos school. We do not hold those religious convictions ourselves as parents, and this being our first experience of this, would love any tips from other parents who may have gone through this before.

    We have already got a school book list, which includes a RE book with Jesus on the cover. I really don't wanna waste money on this, or fund religion in this way.

    While we don't want to isolate our child from their class, we don't want that to be taught as fact to them, nor to be made to pray or take part in other religious activities. Has RE changed much in the last 20 years? should we just flat out take our child out of the RE class? I've no objection to them knowing about religion or that people believe different things, different gods, god or no god at all. However, I have this unease about the fact that it will be an immersive indoctrination about god, "sinful" humanity and other such things. Can this be done in a sensitive way without stigmatising the child for being "different"?

    Would love to hear other's experiences and any suggestions and tips.

    Happened with my older girl who went to a Catholic all-girls secondary school after going to an Educate Together primary. Pretty awful experience with very few redeeming features in our case, particularly in the senior cycle. Unfortunately taking the child out of RE might not make that much difference as religious ethos can be pervasive beyond that.

    On the plus side, the chances are there will be a number of other parents and children in a similar situation. It is worthwhile going to some of the PTA meetings and chatting with them and the staff on the topic. Ask what the options are for a child that isn't from a religious family and see what response you get. Much of this will come down to the individual teachers and other parents. Approaching it with an exploratory non-confrontational attitude is the best bet in my experience.

    Very best of luck with it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    The https://www.teachdontpreach.ie/ website is a resource for parents in such situations. Including some form letters to use if you feel you want to opt the child out of any class or that your rights are not being met. And you can contact them directly if the website is short on information for you.

    If you do want to opt them out of anything, do check what that actually means in your particular school. Because quite often it does not mean they will be taken out of the class. But rather just sent down the back of the class and ignored. This has the effect of 1) othering them and 2) effectively keeping them in the class for indoctrination anyway. So if they want to pull that one on you, consider whether it is better just to not opt them out anyway.

    Other than that, I think my own experience with Catholic School was ok because I actually managed to get through nearly all of Primary School before I even realized the stuff about Catholicism was "real". I thought most of it was just "story time" along with all the things we read about Setanta and Cú Chulainn and what not. I was quite intelligent but also quite dumb I think, given how old I reached before my brain went "Hang on! People BELIEVE this stuff????".

    Me and another few users on boards talked about this once and we came up with an approach to our own children. We play imaginative games with our own children. Especially out in the forest or the park or the beach. The stories have a lot of acting and narrative and fun. We play characters and stories. And so on.

    And I sometimes talk to my kids about this. I ask them about how it feels to play those games and how sometimes when you REALLY get into such games and stories you can almost forget it is all pretend and fantasy.

    I remind them that sometimes this can happen to adults too. And that religions and stories about gods seem to be one of those cases where some grown ups have followed a story so much they have forgotten it is not real too.

    They seem to "get" this as it's on their level and is in terms they can understand.

    You say you want them to learn about other religions and people? Then I would recommend you do exactly that. Put together your own course at home and spend an hour or two or three a week teaching it to them. Pay particular intention when doing so to show how each group you teach them about is just using stories to understand and enjoy the world around them. That none of the things they believe actually need to be true. It still gives them a story they can tell about the world. Humans need that. We tell ourselves stories all the time. Even Atheists. Look at the oral traditions of the Indian peoples too. They have a tradition of using stories to impart moral or philosophical ideas. Actually there was a fun character in Star Trek Voyager who was of indian descent and used such stories to lead his captain to make the right decision quite often. It always sparked my interest to learn some of those oral traditions myself.

    Stories. Reading. More Stories. And More Reading. They were the best inoculation against infection by religious nonsense that I ever got. And the idea of humans as story telling and story needing machines is one that never really left me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,508 ✭✭✭✭ eviltwin


    In my experience the stuff about "sin" doesn't really start until secondary. Its all very low key "love one another" stuff until then. But I guess it depends on the school. My child's school was very heavy on the talks from outside groups and I had a major run in with them over their treatment of my daughter at the time. I think that was mainly down to a very devoutly Catholic principal and other schools might not be quite so gung ho.

    Talk to the school, tell them your wishes and ask them what they can do for you and your child. You are unlikely to be the only non Catholic family in the school anyway and so your child is unlikely to be all the unusual.

    I've been lucky not to have to send mine to Catholic primary but we have no choice for secondary and it can be a bit shocking how it permeates every aspect of the school day. But they will get through it and if they are anything like my two the ridiculousness of it all will make them even less inclined to want to believe it.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,242 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Gatica wrote: »
    Would love to hear other's experiences and any suggestions and tips.
    Depends very much on the headmaster/headmistress and how they might or might not facilitate you and a quick, quiet chat might put you right - especially if there are other parents who have similar views, and who'd be able to support you, and there certainly should be these days. A lot of schools don't take religion very seriously and if you're in one of them, then I'd imagine most teachers wouldn't have an issue with your kid sitting down the back peacefully coloring away during religion class. If, on the other hand, you're in with a fundamentalist outfit, likely they wouldn't facilitate this, and you're in for the long haul.

    FWIW, I had my kid for two years at a religiously-inclined school, again for reasons beyond my control, and the headmistress was helpful, if naive about religion - never apparently before having had to deal with somebody who didn't want priests, rabbis, imams etc circling our little darling - at one point, telling me with a straight face that the priests they had in were fine because they used to hand out sweets to the kids - I've a faint memory of simply staring at her when she said that, entirely unable to formulate a coherent response for some seconds.

    Anyway, a quiet chat with the school head will direct you one way or the other, and your case will be all the stronger if a) your other half is fully supportive, and present for the chat, and b) any other interested parents are too.

    Lastly, and just on a point of terminology, while it certainly is the standard term used in Ireland, I personally never refer to schools as "catholic ethos", "protestant ethos" etc as the word is used to obscure what it means in practice, which is that the school is "catholic-controlled" or "priest-controlled" etc. A clarity of terminology can help lead to a clarity of thinking on everybody's part.

    Best of luck!


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,532 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    Gatica wrote: »
    We have already got a school book list, which includes a RE book with Jesus on the cover. I really don't wanna waste money on this, or fund religion in this way.

    Then don't. You have a constitutional right to opt your child out of any subject which offends your moral or philosophical beliefs.

    If you get any pushback from the school, talk to Atheist Ireland (teachdontpreach.ie as Nozz mentioned above) who have helped parents through this countless times and the school always has to back down in the end.
    Has RE changed much in the last 20 years?

    Not really, the explicit aim is still the exact same.
    should we just flat out take our child out of the RE class?

    You can but the school is not obliged to provide alternative supervision, so unless you are in a position to collect your child from school at the appropriate time* they will end up at the back of the religion class, colouring or something.

    * that's overlooking that primary schools don't have set timetables, and the "integrated curriculum" in which English could be a bible story, Art could be draw a religious picture, History could be St. Patrick, etc.
    I've no objection to them knowing about religion or that people believe different things, different gods, god or no god at all.

    A catholic secondary school will have little or nothing to say about the above, never mind a primary. A primary will just subtly or unsubtly push the "one true faith" as absolute fact and that's that, no alternative points of view exist.
    Would love to hear other's experiences and any suggestions and tips.

    Yes, my tip is if it's at all possible then run a mile. Do you really want your child to be added to the enrolment figures they use as proof of "demand" for catholic schools?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    I would advise to opt out fully from day 1. Don't buy the books, tell the teacher in writing you will be sending in an alternative activity and you are to be contacted if the teacher is unsure whether your child should participate. I would also request your child not be forced to stand for prayer and be taken to another room if any religious person personnel arrive.
    Don't feel like you have to educate the child about various hues of God bothering. That makes religion into an important thing. Our kids know we think all religious stuff is nonsense and they don't have to respect any of it, whether that's prayers or homophobia.
    Be prepared for the school to trot out a line that no one has opted out, Grow in Love is a nice programme and would you not let the child do it and see how they get on. Ignore all of this. You are legally entitled to opt out of any subject.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,267 ✭✭✭ spookwoman


    Any chance your child is outspoken about being atheist? Depends on the school and who's teaching. My first secondary school was run by the nuns and at the start we had a nun teaching us but a few of us always questioned what was being taught. Later on we had a lay person teaching us and it was more Civics than religion. I never stood for prayer etc and when confronted I told them why.
    My second school a bit for holy I was made to attend religious classes at the start but because I questioned him so much I was removed, deemed a trouble maker :D


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,242 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Gatica wrote: »
    [...] While we don't want to isolate our child from their class, we don't want that to be taught as fact to them, nor to be made to pray or take part in other religious activities.
    To add to the above, you'll obviously need to take into account your kid and their feelings as well of course - somebody who's used to thinking on their own and not always wishing to follow the herd will do better being excused/excluded from class activities, than somebody who does want to do what everybody else is doing. More parents in the class willing to reject religion means that there's less of a sense of exclusion, and also be aware that some of the other kids mightn't want to do religion either and may dislike your kid for not doing it.

    All of the above, plus the reactions of the head teacher and other parents etc, etc are how religion has subverted the school system in this country in order to propagate itself - a sad, horrible mix of overt and covert social pressure put onto children to make them conform. The pressures are less now than they were when I was in school, but they're still there, and in varying degrees to the background or foreground, but they're still revolting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,532 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    spookwoman wrote: »
    Any chance your child is outspoken about being atheist?

    I presume they are entering at junior infants so that seems a bit unlikely!

    But so what if they were? Is the case for religion really that weak that no questioning or dissent can be permitted? (YES)

    My second school a bit for holy I was made to attend religious classes at the start but because I questioned him so much I was removed, deemed a trouble maker :D

    But religion teachers (Definitely Golgafrinchan B Ark* candidates if ever there were) will say that religious education is about tolerance and respect and allowing individuals to develop their conscience... :rolleyes:



    * The Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B was a way of removing the basically useless citizens from the planet of Golgafrincham. A variety of stories were formed about the doom of the planet, such as blowing up, crashing into the sun or being eaten by a mutant star goat. The ship was filled with all the middlemen of Golgafrincham, such as the telephone sanitisers, account executives, hairdressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, public relations executives, and management consultants.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,532 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    robindch wrote: »
    All of the above, plus the reactions of the head teacher and other parents etc, etc are how religion has subverted the school system in this country in order to propagate itself

    A parent could even find themselves in the happy situation where their child is opted out without issue, but then a new god-bothering principal comes in and decides to start making life difficult. These people know they are fighting a losing battle and the only answer is for every parent who doesn't want religious indoctrination in school to stand up to them. They are bullies.

    Trans rights are human rights. 🦄 🌈 💕



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  • Registered Users Posts: 458 ✭✭ gandalfio


    Sounds like a difficult situation OP and one I could find myself in with my son in the near future.

    Are Educate Together Primary and Secondary schools the only non religious options, or are there other types of non religious schools?


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,532 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    At primary, yes - just ET within the state school system. (There is a handful of completely private, fee-paying primaries which can teach or not teach whatever they want)

    There are also Community National Schools run by the ETBs, but the religious education syllabus for these was written by the Roman Catholic Church and they segregate kids on the basis of religion, catholic protestant and "other".

    At second level a small number of ETB schools are non religious ethos (Warning - some ETB secondaries are as catholic as an explicitly RC patronage school)

    Some ETBs (Edit: I mean ETB secondaries) claim to be "multi-denominational" but in their case this really means "protestant as well as catholic". This is not "multi-denominational" in the same sense as ET primaries at all (which are really non-denominational, but the Dept. of Education insists every primary school has to have a 'denomination' so they aren't allowed call themselves that.)

    Confused yet....? :rolleyes:


    Note:
    ET = Educate Together
    ETB = Education & Training Boards, which we used to call VECs

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    Community national schools don't segregate for indoctrination any longer but they're definitely full on with the goodness me goodness you programme and a lot have uniforms, don't use the teachers first name and so on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭ true-or-false


    Would it be possible to just chat with some existing staff/parents to get an idea of what the religion classes are like?

    Thinking back a million years ago, I went to a Catholic primary and a convent school for secondary, and I never felt like I was being indoctrinated. I kind of just worked under the assumption that none of us really believed it. There was only one teacher who was actually a nun, but I was never in one of her classes.

    I'd very happily bet that there are far more people in Ireland who came out of Catholic schools than there are Catholics. Particularly with non-religious parents, your child would have to be significantly inclined to becoming religious to actually get caught up in it.

    I think it's better to be educated about these things than not, so there might be no harm in your child getting the benefit of hearing about different religions. If you get the impression there is indeed some kind of indoctrination going on, you can always act at that stage?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,691 ✭✭✭ Tombo2001


    I'd be very much in the agnostic camp myself, however more in the 'I never think about it' more than the 'I have made a concious choice about it, and want it to be part of my self identity'.

    With that in mind, yes I do squirm a little the the odd time the kids talk about Holy God, but FFS as a parent there are things I'd put way higher on the list of things to worry about such as the amount of screen time, such as the way sweets and sugar are in your face everywhere you go.
    I've never pushed my own beliefs on them, but would always have told them what I thought of the religious situation if I'd been asked; and my eldest who is in 6th class has come around to that way of thinking on his own now. Am glad that he has made his own mind up rather that me telling him what to think.

    No school will ever be perfect. Every school in some way is a compromise. For me, sending a child to a single gender school, or sending them to a school that involves a long commute (which for me is anywhere they cant walk to) would be a far bigger compromise than sending them to a school that teaches religion.

    You have to work out which compromise is the most palatable from the point of view of your childs development.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,519 ✭✭✭ GalwayGrrrrrl


    As someone who sent her children to a catholic primary school be warned that this will not be simply a case of sitting out of one class per week. In the school my children attended there were prayers several times per day, priests giving out ashes on Ash Wednesday and second class was 99% preparing for first communion (masses every month which involved class time prep- colouring for the mass, singing practice for the mass, learning prayers for the mass etc). If you really want to avoid all things Catholic then try to find a school that is Educate Together or similar. Talk to parents of older children and find out how much of the day is spent on religion related activities.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,508 ✭✭✭✭ eviltwin


    Talk to the school about what alternative material you can bring in for your child too. You might be restricted there. Anything educational that could be seen to give my child an unfair advantage over her peers wasn’t allowed. It’s very frustrating.

    Also ask about the outside agencies they use for talks. Some schools are more into this than others. Some use non religious groups and some don’t. Some of these groups have questionable views.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,691 ✭✭✭ Tombo2001


    As someone who sent her children to a catholic primary school be warned that this will not be simply a case of sitting out of one class per week. In the school my children attended there were prayers several times per day, priests giving out ashes on Ash Wednesday and second class was 99% preparing for first communion (masses every month which involved class time prep- colouring for the mass, singing practice for the mass, learning prayers for the mass etc). If you really want to avoid all things Catholic then try to find a school that is Educate Together or similar. Talk to parents of older children and find out how much of the day is spent on religion related activities.

    I'd have to say that hasnt been my experience. From what I can see, the religion classes have had about as much impact on my kids as the tin whistle classes, which is to say not very much.

    However, what I would agree with is that these schools have a mandate that can be interpreted in different ways by different principals, and as such you will get some schools where the principal and the board decides religion is the be all and end all.

    Long story short, talk to the parents in the school.

    Regarding the Educate Togethers, in Dublin anyway, the issue is getting in to them. They have waiting lists a mile long. The particular problem is that they have massive catchment areas. Our local Educate Together secondary school has a catchment population of about 300'000 people. Which means you'll have up to a thousand parents applying for it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,532 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    lazygal wrote: »
    Community national schools don't segregate for indoctrination any longer but they're definitely full on with the goodness me goodness you programme and a lot have uniforms, don't use the teachers first name and so on.

    is that across the board now? Last I heard, only some CNS schools had refused to implement that aspect of the programme i.e. religious segregation during the school day

    Yeah don't like the sound of GMGY at all.

    As an aside, my daughter's ETB non-religious-ethos secondary has always had uniforms, and the new principal they got halfway through this school year unilaterally dropped the first name policy against the wishes of the staff and parents

    And now, with no consultation with parents at all he's decided that next year the school day will begin half an hour earlier, just like that! What planet do people like this live on?

    Trans rights are human rights. 🦄 🌈 💕



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,532 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    Thinking back a million years ago, I went to a Catholic primary and a convent school for secondary, and I never felt like I was being indoctrinated.

    Yet you were. It just doesn't work when parents and wider society don't reinforce it like they did years ago. You still had your time wasted and were patronised by being told beliefs were facts.

    Particularly with non-religious parents, your child would have to be significantly inclined to becoming religious to actually get caught up in it.

    Not really the point though is it? I don't want my child's valuable contact education hours being wasted on that crap.

    I think it's better to be educated about these things than not

    Catholic schools do not educate "about" religion. They have an explicit aim of pushing the catholic faith as fact onto your kids whether you like it or not. If there is any mention of other religions at all it will be quite clear that these religions are "wrong".

    Trans rights are human rights. 🦄 🌈 💕



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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    is that across the board now? Last I heard, only some CNS schools had refused to implement that aspect of the programme i.e. religious segregation during the school day

    Yeah don't like the sound of GMGY at all.

    As an aside, my daughter's ETB non-religious-ethos secondary has always had uniforms, and the new principal they got halfway through this school year unilaterally dropped the first name policy against the wishes of the staff and parents

    And now, with no consultation with parents at all he's decided that next year the school day will begin half an hour earlier, just like that! What planet do people like this live on?
    Afaik segregation has been dropped across the board.
    Unfortunately due to our mad patronage system schools are effectively fiefdoms for individual principals and boards of management. You'll get nowhere complaining as the system is designed to allow boards of management near total control over how their schools run.
    We're looking at secondary schools and the so called community school has a religious symbol on the mandatory uniform and has RE as a compulsory subject. We'll probably end up choosing fee paying school without any religous ****e.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,532 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    RE was stated to be compulsory in our daughter's non-denominational ETB school, but we opted out nonetheless, we were made buy the book in the bundle of books though. It's completely biased towards "christianity as fact" and has like 1 page in the whole thing about atheism / agnosticism / non-belief.

    Fee paying schools in Ireland are usually more religious than "normal" catholic schools

    Trans rights are human rights. 🦄 🌈 💕



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,862 ✭✭✭✭ _Brian


    Gatica wrote: »
    for a number of reasons we are sending our child to a Catholic ethos school. We do not hold those religious convictions ourselves as parents, and this being our first experience of this, would love any tips from other parents who may have gone through this before.

    We have already got a school book list, which includes a RE book with Jesus on the cover. I really don't wanna waste money on this, or fund religion in this way.

    While we don't want to isolate our child from their class, we don't want that to be taught as fact to them, nor to be made to pray or take part in other religious activities. Has RE changed much in the last 20 years? should we just flat out take our child out of the RE class? I've no objection to them knowing about religion or that people believe different things, different gods, god or no god at all. However, I have this unease about the fact that it will be an immersive indoctrination about god, "sinful" humanity and other such things. Can this be done in a sensitive way without stigmatising the child for being "different"?

    Would love to hear other's experiences and any suggestions and tips.

    I respect your decision amd position on this.

    But your post is contradictory.

    You don’t want the religion book, don’t want your kid taught religion, but you don’t want the child isolated either. The rest of the class will be taught the Catholic ethos amd he engaged in the sacraments while your child will at your choice be excluded, this will isolate them, their classmates will be talking of communion etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    The one we're thinking of is the least religious locally. It's not a Catholic ethos school.

    Making RE compulsory and thereby putting people in a position where they opt out by grace and favour means is unacceptable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    _Brian wrote: »
    I respect your decision amd position on this.

    But your post is contradictory.

    You don’t want the religion book, don’t want your kid taught religion, but you don’t want the child isolated either. The rest of the class will be taught the Catholic ethos amd he engaged in the sacraments while your child will at your choice be excluded, this will isolate them, their classmates will be talking of communion etc
    Do catholic schools not claim to be inclusive? All the ones around here certainly do. So it's up to the school to follow through on this claim.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,862 ✭✭✭✭ _Brian


    lazygal wrote: »
    Do catholic schools not claim to be inclusive? All the ones around here certainly do. So it's up to the school to follow through on this claim.

    No matter what, all the kids classmates will be working towards and engaging in the sacraments, this will significantly set OPs kid apart from the others. There’s no avoiding that. Amd for a small kid that wil make them feel different and in a significant minority.

    I’m not saying that is right or wrong, just as a parent I can’t see how OP will do this without the kid being isolated at times during school.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,532 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    _Brian wrote: »
    You don’t want the religion book, don’t want your kid taught religion, but you don’t want the child isolated either. The rest of the class will be taught the Catholic ethos amd he engaged in the sacraments while your child will at your choice be excluded, this will isolate them, their classmates will be talking of communion etc

    It's disgraceful that our education system puts parents into this position, and what's worse is that most people in our society seem to think that this is normal and perfectly fine.


    BTW I very much doubt the majority of the kids (or their parents) will be "engaged" with the sacraments, they will be "doing" or "getting" them, with an eye on a nice day out and €€€€

    If parents stopped being hypocrites making their kids undergo rituals they think are nonsense for the sake of appearances / keeping Granny happy, then arguably the "sacramentalists" would be the ones in the minority

    Trans rights are human rights. 🦄 🌈 💕



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    _Brian wrote: »
    No matter what, all the kids classmates will be working towards and engaging in the sacraments, this will significantly set OPs kid apart from the others. There’s no avoiding that. Amd for a small kid that wil make them feel different and in a significant minority.

    I’m not saying that is right or wrong, just as a parent I can’t see how OP will do this without the kid being isolated at times during school.

    There is something wrong with a school that chooses not to deal with a child who is being excluded on religious grounds.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,862 ✭✭✭✭ _Brian


    lazygal wrote: »
    There is something wrong with a school that chooses not to deal with a child who is being excluded on religious grounds.

    I don’t want RE in schools either, a family religion is a thing for home.

    Nevertheless, the current system is what we have and what OP has to deal with. I’m very aware of having kids that are different to “the norm”. I can 100% say if OP sends their kid to a Catholic ethos school and then has them exclude the religious aspect then they will be isolating the child from their classmates, setting them apart as something different. My personal experience is that mostly kids don’t mind, but it is there and from time to time they will just want to be like everyone else in their class rather than that kid who is the only one doing different things.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,653 ✭✭✭✭ lazygal


    _Brian wrote: »
    I don’t want RE in schools either, a family religion is a thing for home.

    Nevertheless, the current system is what we have and what OP has to deal with. I’m very aware of having kids that are different to “the norm”. I can 100% say if OP sends their kid to a Catholic ethos school and then has them exclude the religious aspect then they will be isolating the child from their classmates, setting them apart as something different. My personal experience is that mostly kids don’t mind, but it is there and from time to time they will just want to be like everyone else in their class rather than that kid who is the only one doing different things.
    When our kids want something that everyone else is doing they learn part of life is being left out sometimes and that's a valuable feeling to deal with. You don't sign up to a cult because your child might be sad they're not being indoctrinated.


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