I am pretty angry today. My son's school is having a program where the sixth grade will be performing a routine (something the P.E. teacher has come up with) for the rest of the school. Last night my son informed my that he will have to do the "tebow" as part of the routine. (for those not in the know, the tebow involves dropping down to one knee and praying in public). He told me he is not comfortable with doing that. I of course am not comfortable with it either and sent an email to the school telling them I do not want him to participate. Of course now he will stand out as the one kid not participating.
yes, i know what the tebow is. It makes me ill when i see adults doing this. Requiring a child to do it, is definitely crossing the line. A P.E. teacher, huh? Gosh, that ignorance really makes my blood boil. Now your son may have to deal with backlash, because of a dumb P.E. teacher (nothing against physical education teachers, but i've had some pretty dumb ones coming up). I hope your son comes out okay, but i think you're right for speaking up. Maybe it's time for the teacher to be embarrassed by informing him/her about what he/she can and cannot do in a public school.
It kind of reminds me of when I was a teenager and the school brought in the Power Team. Which is basically a group of Christians who try to show the "power" of the lord by breaking things with their bare hands.
I have an update. The P.E. teacher finally did respond to me. He said that he had let the kids come up with the program and that it did not occur to him at the time how inappropriate it was. He did say he understood my concerns. I am amazed that he would not immediately recognize that as inappropriate(I am a little dubious). However the principle has been very apologetic. I think she does know how wrong this was. I am assuming she was waiting first for the P.E. teacher to respond to me.Hence the initial slow response. I did contact FFRF and they had offered to end a letter. I did not have them send it as I do believe the administration understands and is embarrassed that this happened (I am not sure about the P.E. teacher though). Also, My son was not required to participate in the program.
Outstanding, Brandon! Amazing what happens when some one actually ACTS on a situation!
Still, I would keep my eye on the P.E. teacher and make certain that a final resolution obtains before I allowed myself to relax. There may yet be some fallout from this incident, and it wouldn't hurt to maintain awareness.
I'm so glad this turned out well. Even if intended as satire (yeah, okay), 'Tebowing' is inappropriate and the teacher exercised poor judgement. I am also happy to hear that your son got to skip this event and hope that there will be no kind of backlash.
"Still, I would keep my eye on the P.E. teacher and make certain that a final resolution obtains before I allowed myself to relax. There may yet be some fallout from this incident, and it wouldn't hurt to maintain awareness."
I just want to reinforce this, especially in light of:
"He said that he had let the kids come up with the program and that it did not occur to him at the time how inappropriate it was."
He's doing two things, delegating blame and trying to pass off not knowing the law in regards to the establishment clause and public schools.
"...is the school still going forward with some program that involves religion, or has school eliminated that part of it altogether?"
Good question, and a very important one.
No disrespect to P.E. teachers in general, but never I had one who was qualified to teach a goldfish to swim. I suspect the reason "Jock Strap Johnny" took his time in getting back to you was that he brought your concerns to his boss' (principal) attention, who probably told him his stupidity was going to get the school in a world of legal shit they didn't need. Ergo, the apologies from the principal, after he/she told him to back off. My question is this. Since your son does not have to participate in this nonsense, is the school still going forward with some program that involves religion, or has school eliminated that part of it altogether?