My sons second grade teacher asked the classroom to raise their hand if they believe in god. My son told me he felt like he had to raise his hand because everyone else did. But since it is the holidays, the lesson plan seems to be very religon based. I would like to talk to her and explain that we are nontheist but I dont want to single my children out. I am not sure what to do.

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The teacher might as well have asked the kids if they were liberals or conservatives. She simply had no reason to ask, since kids that age cannot provide an informed answer to such questions and I would complain with the teacher about it.
My sons second grade teacher asked the classroom to raise their hand if they believe in god. My son told me he felt like he had to raise his hand because everyone else did. But since it is the holidays, the lesson plan seems to be very religon based. I would like to talk to her and explain that we are nontheist but I dont want to single my children out. I am not sure what to do.


I would be concerned as well. I understand not wanting to single your children out, as that can be very difficult for children of that age, but perhaps you could present your concerns in a more general manner. Mentioning to the teacher that you have concerns about the class being asked their belief in god and any other religious-based examples from the class might be enough. I know that in my experience, many religious folks don't even realize what they are saying/doing could possibly make people uncomfortable. Sometimes just bringing it to their attention is enough.

Good luck with everything. I know how stressful situations like that can be. We encountered something similar when my 2 year old started daycare last month.
thank you. I am going to talk to her on Monday. Im just going to carefully choose my words so as to not look like heathens
J,
To be a heathen is simply to not believe in the god of Judaism- nothing to be ashamed of. This is a public school right? Then they have no right peddling their filth on your child.

Dave
LOL, I just noticed that I put "filth" instead of "faith!" I really meant faith, but I suppose it was a Fruedian slip?
Yeah it probably didn't hurt anyone's feelings around here. Ha!
I don't see a reason why she asked that.I would imagine your son would have been singled out if he didn't raise his hand.
This is a public school. I was thinking isnt it illegal to discuss god in public school? Especially to the extent that this teacher has. I feel like the pressure should be on her be mindful as a public school teacher, not me feeling the pressure to explain our familys beliefs to her.
The teacher should have never asked that question. PERIOD. If your son didn't raise his hand he would have been ostracized because of her blatant stupidity. She's a public school teacher, what business does she have asking that question of 2nd graders? I mean seriously, I could be more lenient with her if this was a high school class full of 16-18 yr olds but 7-8 yr olds..you've got to be pretty damned stupid to be asking that question. If I were you I would try to move my son immediately. And then explain to the school why you are leaving, because it is faith-pushing. No different than a drug dealer trying to peddle their crap onto your kids.
Duane, under what circumstances would you ask a classroom of second graders whether they believed in god? There is absolutely nothing in the elementary curriculum that touches on that area. Any teacher that graduated from a certified college or university should know not to venture into this area. Unless she wanted to proselytize to her class (which she cannot legally do) I just don't understand why she would be polling the class about religious beliefs. Even if a child asked a question about religion, the teacher should have been able to answer in a non-judgmental way and then gently steer the conversation to other things. As an atheist teacher myself, I had to do this many times. I NEVER let my own beliefs enter into the discussion, and I avoided discussions about religion whenever possible. Sticking to the curriculum is the best way to handle most situations like this.
under what circumstances would you ask a classroom of second graders whether they believed in god?

The one instance that I could see asking children this question would be an exercise designed to show them that it's okay to believe what they choose. I would love it if this could become a lesson that we teach children. However it seems pretty likely that there would be some division and other problems resulting from that. Not to mention, religionists would hit the roof at the concept of telling kids that it's okay not to believe in God. As of right now, it may be best it not be discussed until your first philosophy class.

Then again, I'm not a teacher or a parent so maybe I'm way off here.
Bring it up with the principal and request to remain anonymous. The school administration is trained to deal with such problems while not singling out families.

You may ask around and see if any of the other families were offended by this.

Its none of that teachers business to ask such a question of children. If they are going to have holiday lesson plans they need to stay away from religion, period.

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