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What would you think ?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by ff392, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. I work in a Catholic School - I'm not a Catholic but uphold the Christian beliefs. We've had a new Head start in Sept and suddenly we are now having very heavy gospal assemblies and far more heavy events.
    EG we did a worship for Ash Wed - all the children recieved the sign of the cross with Ash, I chose not to as it felt not quite right.
    The Head hsa now told me I should of done what everyone else did and have the sign of the cross on my forehead??

    Surely I have the right to say no???
     
  2. I work in a Catholic School - I'm not a Catholic but uphold the Christian beliefs. We've had a new Head start in Sept and suddenly we are now having very heavy gospal assemblies and far more heavy events.
    EG we did a worship for Ash Wed - all the children recieved the sign of the cross with Ash, I chose not to as it felt not quite right.
    The Head hsa now told me I should of done what everyone else did and have the sign of the cross on my forehead??

    Surely I have the right to say no???
     
  3. I also work in a Catholic School, also a practising Catholic.
    On Ash Wednesday we all received ashes, working in a school with some non-Catholic staff and pupils we spoke with all children before they went and explained that they could choose to have ashes. We also took some of our Muslim children. Letters were sent out to all families explaining what was going on and if they wished their child to be exempt from attending they needed to contact the school. As with Communion, children who are not Catholic or who have not yet received the sacrament of communion could go to the altar to receive a blessing from the priest.
    This seems very old school, I am unsure of how other Christian faith 'do' Ash Wednesday but of course you should have a right to say no - as long as you are up holding the Catholic ethos and explaining to the children who ask why..... think some people forget even in a Catholic School it is Religious EDUCATION not Religious INSTRUCTION - there is a differnece!
    FF392? Do you teach 2 1/2 hours R.E a week plus a daily CW? Just with you saying your head is now 'Gospel Heavy?'



     
  4. I just think I should have a choice - not be told I should do it???

    Yes we teach 2 hours RE and have a daily collective worship.
     
  5. Whether or not you should have a choice about what you do and don't do is a matter for negotiation. You should be able to opt out of religious activities that you feel you can't engage in because of your own beliefs, but it is a Catholic school - if you're not prepared to join in with all the religious activities, then you should discuss with the head where your boundaries lie. Ideally, this discussion should have taken place when the new head arrived to avoid differences of opinion arising over specific incidents.
    Think through what your position is on religious activity and why you hold that position, so you can explain it to other members of staff and to students. Otherwise you could get issues with students opting in and opting out of whole school activities on a whim.


     
  6. I am not a religious person but work in a Catholic school. I, like you and the Muslim parents in Penguin's post, all chose to work / send their children to the school. While you do have legal rights to opt out, you should choose to join in - if it was going to be a problem for you why did you choose a faith school in the first place?
     
  7. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    I assume there is a priest attached to the school. Have you spoken to him? How would he feel about a non-Catholic coming up to receive without belief?
     
  8. Of course you were right to refuse, it is very unreasonable for her to pressurise you to do this.
     
  9. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Of course you should have refused. Nobody can force you to carry out acts of worship, nor should they try.
    I have never understood non-religious people taking part in religious ceremonies. Surely it is rude to the 'god' of that religion?
     
  10. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    Do the children (/parents of) have the choice to opt out of such rictuals?
    I'm sure God isn't easily offended.
     
  11. The children did not have a choice. I joined the school 2 year ago and was never asked about my beliefs. I join in all the services, pray, do lots in class but on Ash Wed , it seemed all to much !
    Yes there is a priest, a lovely man, but not spoken to him. Out of the teachers, only 2 are Catholic and the others " just do it" cos they don't want the hassle if they say no.
    Still firm in my belief that I should have a choice.......
     
  12. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I would disagree with you there, but we can discuss that another time if you wish. I still say that teachers and pupils should have a choice to opt out. Children might not want to go to a faith school but have no other option.
     
  13. Had a meeting yesterday with the Head to be told it is in my contract to take part in all Catholic activities and if I don't then I am in breach of my contract........
     
  14. I worked in a Catholic School as although I am not a Catholic I also uphold Christian beliefs. I always attended mass with the children and was supportive of all the events that took place within the school. However I never made the sign of the cross at the start of assembly, went up during communion for a blessing or anything else that I felt weren't part of my own beliefs, I even used to say the ending to the Lord's Prayer in my head. This was never an issue at all, even though the majority of staff and the headteacher were Catholic. They accepted my beliefs and if the children ever asked I explained to them that not all of our beliefs were the same and they accepted this.

    Are we not supposed to be teaching our children to be accepting to those of different beliefs rather than creating a world full of people that feel their way is the only right way?!
     
  15. dagnabit

    dagnabit New commenter

    I teach in a Catholic school, am Catholic and an ex-governor for a Catholic school. The diocese was very gung ho about getting more Catholics into their schools and their main aims are all about promoting and upholding the faith. Believe me if they could survive without letting non-catholics in they would make it compulsory. There are lots of expectations made of members of staff joining these schools and often there is no room for personal points of view. They are quite open about this, there is nothing insidious going on, and you have to accept it. You don't sit down to eat in a vegetarian restaurant and complain there's no meat on the menu. The diocese believe they are protecting the faith with their expectations etc and for those that disagree with them there are other schools to work/learn in. That is the stance taken.
     
  16. "Protecting the faith" is not what a school should be about. But excusing that, surely having a non-believer imitating the faith is a far more subversive action than simply making the entirely reasonable and respectful decision to abstain.
    It's not like the OP refused to attend the service, or sat at the front with an anti-catholic banner.
    Does the school want to present the image that your own feelings are unimportant, as long as you follow the status quo? Or that strength of faith (a sickening concept, but again, aside the point) is irrelevant as long as you go through the motions?
    This whole debacle represents such a shallowness of thought from the management that I'm rather bemused.
     
  17. If you accept a job in a catholic school you accept the conditions. Simple as that!The conditions are the same for all Catholic school and are all about protecting the faith - totally reasaonable, as that is why those schools exist.
    Whether they are made clear before you accept or not is a different matter.

    And how hard is it to make the sign of the cross????
     
  18. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Wow. Just - wow - to the final comment there. Not even sure how to handle that. Are there really people like you in the classroom?

    The point is, this isn't a private school. It is a state school where children might not have a non-faith option.
     
  19. sarahmilly

    sarahmilly New commenter

    Although catholic schools are not private schools, they are not completely funded by the state. Voluntary aided schools have to contribute aprox 10% of the building costs and therefore have a substantial influence in the running of the school.
    Catholic schools were first created for the teaching of the faith. This is still a primary aim today. The education of the whole child is centred around the faith.
     
  20. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    It is still a state school that children might have to attend because of where they live. There is no place for them in the modern world.
     

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