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Birthdays & Religion?

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by Curlycat, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Hi

    Does anyone know the correct procedures for celebrating pupil birthdays in school? In a previous school the Head would give out stickers during assembly, all the children would sing, etc. However that seems to be frowned upon in my new school (which is not a church school), due to the fact there are about 10 Jehovah's witnesses (children and one teacher) who attend. I don't want to offend but I would like to help the other children to celebrate their birthdays but don't want to appear to be unsympathetic to other religions.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be gratefully received.
     
  2. Hi

    Does anyone know the correct procedures for celebrating pupil birthdays in school? In a previous school the Head would give out stickers during assembly, all the children would sing, etc. However that seems to be frowned upon in my new school (which is not a church school), due to the fact there are about 10 Jehovah's witnesses (children and one teacher) who attend. I don't want to offend but I would like to help the other children to celebrate their birthdays but don't want to appear to be unsympathetic to other religions.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be gratefully received.
     
  3. There is, of course, no correct procedure for celebrating birthdays in school (or not celebrating them). Personally I think it is generally overdone and limit ours to names on a board in the Hall of those who have a birthday in any given month. Staff, of course get a card and are expected to bring cakes!
    There is little to stop you celebrating the birthdays of those in your class.
     
  4. missied

    missied New commenter

    I'm not a manager but I give the child opportunity to talk about their special day - treats, pressies etc & give them a card. We do sing 'Happy Birthday' in French as well. JW last year didn't join in but had the opportunity to tell us about the presents he recieved on his 'present day'
     
  5. JW "present day" - same day each year is it? Just like his parents have their present day for each other which just happens to be on the same day as they got married!! JWs are such hypocrites!!!
     
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    The fact that Jehovah?s Witnesses do not as a rule participate in festivals and other celebrations and events connected with public holidays can be perplexing. Many of the customs associated with these have a non-Christian religious background, and it is this that makes them objectionable to Jehovah?s Witnesses. So if a festival, celebration or holiday is in some way linked to gods or goddesses other than Jehovah, or if celebrating it is contrary to their understanding of Biblical principles, Jehovah?s Witnesses do not take part.

    This position of total non-participation is adopted in relation to secular events, such as birthdays, New Year?s Day, Hallowe?en, Valentine?s Day, May Day and Mother?s Day, and religious occasions, such as Christmas, Easter, Harvest and All Saints? Day. Jehovah?s Witnesses point out that all of these are connected with non-Christian worship, and that certain features of such worship often dominate the celebrations.

    It should be remembered that parents can only withdraw their children from RE, collective worship and aspects of sex education not covered by the statutory orders for Science. Where work in other subjects is linked to festivals and celebrations (Christmas, Easter, Harvest, birthdays, Mother?s Day, etc), it should be remembered that parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from the activities concerned. Where practicable, alternative work should be provided for pupils who are Jehovah?s Witnesses. If this places too many demands on the school, the parents should be invited in to discuss the issue. Many Jehovah?s Witness parents avoid the particular difficulties presented by Christmas by taking their children out of school for the last two weeks of the Autumn term. Guidance from the DfES suggests that parents should be allowed to take up to 10 days of authorized absence every year provided there are valid reasons for the leave to be granted.

    Jehovah?s Witnesses do participate in any events commemorating war, such as Remembrance Day (they do not wear poppies), Armistice Day, VE Day, VJ Day or Trafalgar Day.

    My own view is that the public celebration of birthdays is overdone and when I joined my current school I stopped the practice of reading out birthday celebrants in assembly. My reason to staff and pupils was that it was unfair on those who had a birthday which fell during a school holiday (such as during August).
     
  7. Thanks so much for your advice and information. I think it may be best to allow teachers to celebrate birthdays in class if they wish but not go the whole birthday assembly route. I hadn't even considered the August birthday children who regularly miss out!
     
  8. Speaking as someone whose birthday does fall in school holiday, I remember feeling extremely p*ssed off myself when at Primary school. I like the "special days" thing- it is not only JWs who don't celebrate birthdays, some strands of the Muslim religion don't either.
     
  9. Poor you - a holiday on your birthday every year when you were growing up, and now every year of your working life.

    *sigh
     
  10. missied

    missied New commenter

    For those children in my class who have a birthday during holidays I either give them a card the day we break up, give it to the parent or post it to them so they don't miss out. They still get the chance to talk about their day when we return & if in the summer break they get to say what they have got planned etc. I don't make a major fuss just allow the child to share
     
  11. I think maybe you should talk to jehovahs witnesses properly before you publicly make such a judgemental comment. You clearly know very little.
     

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