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Religion in schools

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Hermes
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« Reply #45 on: August 30, 2010, 14:19:50 PM »

The taste of being discriminated against will help in the development of an awareness that will in future turn your son into a better person.
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Faerie
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« Reply #46 on: August 30, 2010, 14:40:25 PM »

The taste of being discriminated against will help in the development of an awareness that will in future turn your son into a better person.
We know this, but its still a bitter pill to swallow, and not just for him, but for me as well, we all want our children to be happy little creatures and he's at that age where he still have those moments of madness where he wants to come sit on my lap and be tucked in at night - although its really becoming a rare occassion (which also pains my heart).
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #47 on: August 30, 2010, 22:16:03 PM »

This kind of thing really makes my blood boil!!!!!!!!!!!!! They don't think he's leadership material because he has the balls to stand up for his own convictions? The tight-lipped-nodding-self-righteous gall and short-sightedness of those people make me want to throw up. F*ck!!
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Faerie
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« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2010, 07:26:02 AM »

It gets worse, life sure is funny sometimes.

Last night his ex-friend's (catholic child that broke the friendship due to religion earlier this year)mother stopped in front of our home. She didnt want to come in but wanted to tell me what she found in her son's backpack yesterday afternoon.

Apparantly his two buddies drew up a "contract" with a list of things that they will do to him because he's going to a different school than them next year. It's outright bullying - stuff like dumping him into the bins and dunking his head into the loo - (he's a short kid) - and they also agreed to call him "Midget". Its a two page handwritten document, and they had my son sign it to give his permission - because then the grown-ups couldnt do anything because he gave permission.....

This has been going on since the first term, and explains a lot regarding his behaviour (I thought it was just teenage stuff)- he withdrew a lot and didnt pay much attention to his appearance, and we cracked down on him because of it - all because we didnt know there was issues (and now I feel like a shitty mother for not realising something was amiss)

The mother in question dragged her son to confession last night and he's to come apologise to my son tonight. The upside of it all is after having a long discussion about it last night, he seemed to have dealt with it pretty well aside from the depression he suffered. He moved away from them and it came to light that he's befriended another child who also labels himself as an "evolutionist" - which pleases me no end. He denies that any physical bullying took place, but that they were "rather nasty" to him verbally.

Damn, this poor child had a hell of a year. I hope high-school treats him better....
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Brian
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« Reply #49 on: August 31, 2010, 07:40:05 AM »

Damn, this poor child had a hell of a year. I hope high-school treats him better....
I don't want to p... on your hopes, but most high schools are no better if not worse. Bullying has become an art form and the worst part of it is that certain teachers secretely encourage it especially if he doesn't 'fit' in. Boarding schools are the seedbeds as well for this type of thing as well.
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Faerie
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« Reply #50 on: August 31, 2010, 08:07:03 AM »

Bringing up kids aint for sissies....

I have hope for the high school though (I know, I know, but allow me SOME hope though). My eldest is there and they're a lot more liberal than most schools (also a lot more expensive, but never mind), religion does feature, but it's on a voluntary basis and doesnt form part of the curriculum - instead its dealt as an extra-curricular, which makes far more sense. It's very secular, and with only a 100 kids per year, a lot more student centric as well, which will suit my study concious child well I hope.

ag well....
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #51 on: August 31, 2010, 08:53:37 AM »

I have hope for the high school though (I know, I know, but allow me SOME hope though). My eldest is there and they're a lot more liberal than most schools (also a lot more expensive, but never mind), religion does feature, but it's on a voluntary basis and doesnt form part of the curriculum - instead its dealt as an extra-curricular, which makes far more sense. It's very secular, and with only a 100 kids per year, a lot more student centric as well, which will suit my study concious child well I hope.

ag well....
My 16 yr-old son would THRIVE in a private school but I can't afford it (I can't even afford the public school he's in now - still owe them 10 grand!). He actually LOVES the academics - gets in the 80s and 90s for maths and English and signed up for advanced maths too) - but he HATES school. I mean REALLY hates it. Hearing the things that have happened to your son I now wonder what else goes on that our kids don't talk about. My son is outspoken about his atheism (I wonder where he gets that from?) and I know he is ostracised about it, but I don't know the details. This thread has given me much food for thought - thanks.
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« Reply #52 on: August 31, 2010, 09:18:56 AM »

maybe, and im speaking from personal experience here, have him take some form of extra mural activity, that will boost his self-esteem, like karate, kick boxing, drama, horse-riding, what have you.
and, too, have him see a shrink, he might be more comfortable speaking to an outsider, and the shrink will be able to give him advice on how to deal with bullies, his own emotions, and the stresses of growing up.
as much as you love him, you are emotionally involved, and may not allways see the best solution.
maybe get him to start doing something where he can earn his own money, like being a clown at the local spur or whatever,  that allso boost confidence no end.
bully only have ammo if he gives them ammo, when he is able to calmly tell them off, they will back off.  if he gets angry or scared, they will be all over him.
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Faerie
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« Reply #53 on: August 31, 2010, 09:30:25 AM »

My son is outspoken about his atheism (I wonder where he gets that from?) and I know he is ostracised about it, but I don't know the details. This thread has given me much food for thought - thanks.

Both my sons are outspoken about it too, and dont hesitate to point out inconsistencies to adults and peers alike, and it has caused HUGE problems in the past. My eldest deals with it better though, he's more controlled emotionally and better armed with knowledge (his own doing). My youngest follows suit but are'nt always prepared for the backlash, he's a sweeter child too...

Its really tough for them, and it helps if you share your own experiences with them, I was, for example literally worked out of my job a few months ago because of my anti religious stance. Problematic to say the least, if an adult have issues dealing with it, its a thousand times worse for a teenager who really REALLY wants to fit in and then being ostracised for an opinion.
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Faerie
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« Reply #54 on: August 31, 2010, 09:37:41 AM »

and, too, have him see a shrink, he might be more comfortable speaking to an outsider, and the shrink will be able to give him advice on how to deal with bullies, his own emotions, and the stresses of growing up.
as much as you love him, you are emotionally involved, and may not allways see the best solution.

Over my dead body will I allow my kids to see a shrink.... I dont trust any of them, and they all have bigger issues that the person seeking their help.... (I'm one myself see?) And aside from that odd line of thinking, shrinks are simply people that provide another type of crutch to lean on, and the simelarities between them and religion is often startling. Its like relying on a self-help book because you dont trust your own logic....

I would love for them to have some type of role-model or mentor though, there's value in people with life experience and an understanding of what they're experiencing, but they're far and few between.
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Brian
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« Reply #55 on: August 31, 2010, 09:47:01 AM »

There's an excellent book "Instead of education" by John Holt which really lambasts the schooling systems of the world, and questions the whole mindset that schooling in institutions is desirable...he makes an excellent case that it isn't and that it 'socialises' children to undesirable value systems (religion is just one...think of sex 'education', drugs, schoolground violence, etc) and destroys creativity at an early age because of the socialisation (fitting in). Makes one consider home schooling and then do the extra-mural thing as GCG suggests for sport, intellectual pursuits such as chess, drama, music etc. I know a family (my former PA) who schooled her two sons and a daughter in this way and they're totally great. I also can relate (I know it's not relevant, but of interest)a family of yotees (yacht gypsies) who travelled the globe for 22 yrs (without touching a mainland only islands during this time!)and had three kids (2sons and a girl) who were all educated on board and are totally balanced, informed and confident... way way ahead of 'schooled' types in general. Makes you think!
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #56 on: August 31, 2010, 09:52:02 AM »

Hey! I've just had an idea! *PING*

I'm going to bounce it off my son this afternoon: Why not start a Students Sceptic Association? SSA! Coool! It can be a kind of counter-club for the SCA - heheh. It may be a mission getting permission and all that, but it may also start some healthy dialogue if anything else. And it will also provide a forum for support/friendships etc. to develop at school, and give our kids something active to do (prepare meetings, guest speakers, debates etc.) within their field of interest.

Any thoughts or ideas my brilliant Skeptic.ZA friends?
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GCG
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« Reply #57 on: August 31, 2010, 09:52:17 AM »

wow, faerie, that is a hectic generalization to make, and some shrink are quite good at what their do, you cant discount them because of your own views on them.  they do good work, and while not all their techniques are the bet, they do have knowledge that's worth emparting.
shrinks are not supposed to become a crutch, they are supposed to give you the tools to fight your demons.  if your personal experience has been that they hook you, instead of enabling you, then that is very unfortunate.
any shrink worth his salt, doesnt keep a patient around for more than 6 months.
they give info, tools and advice, the patient uses, and be on their way.  if a patient needs to see his shrink every weeks, for infinity, then the shrink is doing a shitty job, or the patient has issues which the shrink doesnt know how to deal with.
dont discount them all as quacks.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #58 on: August 31, 2010, 09:55:40 AM »

I often wonder where does a skeptic turn for help in this society.

AA: Based on religion
NA: One friend was nauseous from all the Christianity pimped out there, he hasn't recovered completely, but is doing better.
"Correctional" services: Religion.
A lot of shrinks (in my non-informed opinion, I've known 2 on a personal level): Religion.
Suicide line: Manned by over-zealous religious types.
etc....

What does a skeptic do for help with personal problems? Are we simply left to our own devices?
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Brian
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« Reply #59 on: August 31, 2010, 10:02:39 AM »

Hey! I've just had an idea! *PING*

I'm going to bounce it off my son this afternoon: Why not start a Students Sceptic Association? SSA! Coool! It can be a kind of counter-club for the SCA - heheh. It may be a mission getting permission and all that, but it may also start some healthy dialogue if anything else. And it will also provide a forum for support/friendships etc. to develop at school, and give our kids something active to do (prepare meetings, guest speakers, debates etc.) within their field of interest.

Any thoughts or ideas my brilliant Skeptic.ZA friends?
I think that's brilliant...it will get the debating Society off their arsses as well... have a debate on pro and cons of religion (Is religion good or bad for education? or something like that) (not evolution as the antithesis)
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