My daughter's teacher told her she isn't "allowed" to love Jesus in her classroom

Lindsey - posted on 11/22/2009 ( 91 moms have responded )

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My oldest is in kindergarten. She has been doing great with it. She came home the other day a bit stressed out and that's really unusual for her. When I asked her what was wrong she told me she was upset because shes not allowed to love Jesus at school. I know that religion and school is a very hot button issue but I still need advice. My daughter is being a bit strange about the context of how this was brought up so it's hard for me to know how to handle it. I know they cant have God in schools but is it right to tell a 5 year old that she's not allowed to love Jesus at school? Any advice welcome. Thanks in advance!

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MaryAnn - posted on 01/07/2014

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As an educator, I would encourage you to approach the teacher with a perspective of "My daughter came home concerned about something, and I am hoping you can help me figure out where she got the information." Schedule an appointment in advance - instead of stopping the teacher in car line, etc - and treat him/her as a cooperative person who has your child's best interest at heart.

Jodi - posted on 01/02/2013

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My advice is to remember that kindergarten age kids sometimes mis-hear and mis-interpret things. I would go directly to the teacher, explain what your daughter said and then get her side of the story. Always best to sort it out straight from the source. Then after that just keep your eyes and ears open.

Angie - posted on 11/23/2009

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Did the teacher tell your child this or is this what your child thinks the teacher means. Remember, your daughter is only 5 and may not understand what the teacher is said. Speak to the teacher, with an open mind, and find out exactly what happened. Since you don't understand the context, you don't really know what was said. As I've said before, I always tell my children's teachers that I won't believe everything my children tell me about them if they don't believe everything my children tell them about me. Don't automatically assume that the teacher told you daughter she couldn't love Jesus in school.

Lala - posted on 05/24/2013

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What was the context?
Was she singing a song when it wasn't time to sing?
Was she drawing pictures when it wasn't time to draw?
Context is *very* important in a case like this, especially if your daughter made a comment about 'Well Jesus says...' regarding the behavior of another student, or a classroom activity.
I would ask the teacher about the incident, and then strongly counsel your child that she may love Jesus all she wants, but privately -- not in school.

Mary Jane - posted on 02/06/2013

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Kids usually, from my experience, are truthful...but you're right, some kids do have tendencies to make stuff up. Who knows what was really going on in the classroom.

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Sarah - posted on 03/06/2014

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Omg my daughter is dealing with the same thing. I put her in a bible study because she needs to love Jesus throughout her life. I talked to the teacher and said you may not tell my child what to believe, you can tell her not to talk about it right now but you NEVER can tell MY daughter what to believe. Stop being lazy and have your own kids.. tell them what to believe but not my daughter.

Kathryn - posted on 01/08/2014

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The best way to go about this is to definitely schedule a conference with the teacher to find out (since there are holes in your daughters story and you are unsure) what happened exactly. Go into the meeting with an open mind and try to be objective. I know if this happened to me, I would instantly be upset but, then I think to myself, I do not know the whole story, once I get that we can move on from there. I wish you luck and I hope your daughter knows it is perfectly okay to love JESUS. He is our savior after all and especially loves all children very much. May GOD bless you and your family.

Chile Adoptions Support NZ Parents. - posted on 04/10/2013

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Nasty teacher, take action, go in and get it straighten up quick.
You are free to Love God,others have no right to bully such a innocent.

Jessi - posted on 03/06/2013

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Uhhhhh no, that`s not okay. While it`s not really appropriate to discuss religion in school - simply because of the conflicts that would arise - that is usually in regards to older children, or teachers. To harass a little kid for something like expressing their love for Jesus is totally unacceptable.

I don`t really have a `religion`, per se, though I am spiritual. However, I think everyone`s belief is beautiful, and that we all have the right to believe what we choose to believe. Your child is allowed to love Jesus wherever she goes. The teacher should not have addressed it like that. Seriously... a five/six year old child? Kids that age don't understand the touchiness of that subject, and to make her feel bad for believing in Jesus is just... flippin' ridiculous!!! Bah!

I highly doubt your child was trying to 'push' her religion onto another kid, she was likely just stating that she loved god, or Jesus, or whatever! I can't believe a teacher would do that!

Kate - posted on 03/03/2013

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I think you should talk to the teacher and find out exactly what was said! That being said, I do NOT think ANYONE should tell a child not to love God (or whatever you want to call God!)! She can love Jesus in her heart ANYWHERE she likes! That was a horrible thing to say to her! She might have to do a little thing such as "keeping it to herself" because it's so hot an issue! But I think you should talk to the principal on this issue, too, because it's ONE thing to not have prayer in schools (unless you honor ALL religions, not just one, there should BE anything like that there) but it's quite another if she just wants to love Him by herself! I think it was wrong for someone to tell her that!

Sue - posted on 03/03/2013

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I agree with most but teachers do take liberties at time. My daughter is all grown up now but when she was in first grade her nun teacher told her her mother was going to hell because she wasn't catholic. I was a young mother with a very loving Christian upbringing but I didn't join the Catholic church. I tried, it was just to foreign for me I did agree to allow my child to go to Catholic school. When I talked to the principal, she Td me the nun was right, I was going to hell if I didnt convert. I pulled my child out of that stupid school. She is a 45 year old spirit filled Christian and not Catholic. :).

Erin - posted on 03/01/2013

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I would just tell your daughter that she can love Jesus in her heart at school and not to mention it in school... they can't really stop her... we all have free will and can decide but if the school don't like it then she can love him in her heart at school and talk to him silently in pray to him...

Diane - posted on 02/27/2013

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I would head straight for the principles office with questions...This really boils my bean here!!! I live in Canada and we are now getting certain schools that are actually turning the gym into a "prayer room" equiped with proper mats for the Muslim children to do there prayers at certain times of the day....
My take is...if my child cant properly express his religious beliefs without "offending" someone then why on earth can the other religions coming into our country demanding their rights to practise theirs.. Lets practise fairness first...we are ALL entitle to our own beliefs...
My goodness....this is becoming alarmingly sad!!
If no help from the principle..go to the school board.

Annette - posted on 02/26/2013

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You tell her she IS allowed to Love Jesus no matter where she is. That teacher was VERY wrong to tell her that and they should not discourage Faith AT ALL regardless if it's in a public school or a religious one! Long LONG before these times, it was never such an issue to discuss Faith in school because it was TAUGHT. I know those days are long gone and we keep Religion and School separate, but it WAS ONCE a part of American life and no matter what walk of Faith you are, it should not be discouraged and she should not be told her love for Jesus is wrong. I hope this is resolved and I pray she grows stronger in her faith no matter what anyone tells her.

Lisa - posted on 02/06/2013

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Oh lord....I can't believe the number of parents out for blood over something a 5 YEAR OLD said. Chances are it wasn't even what was said in the first place. Kids are notorious for mixing up details, or outright fibbing at that age.

Mary Jane - posted on 02/05/2013

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Bring it to her supervisor, maybe even the school board. I know there is a separation between church and state, and I am by no means am I religious, but any adult that says that to a child should have her head examined. It's difficult for a child to decipher what adults should know, but in this world, even educated or so called educated individuals that are licensed seem to target vulnerable individuals that are very fragile. Maybe the teacher should have had the where-with-all to discuss it with the adults firstly and then they (You and Your significant other) could have gently explained the ways of the world we live in...We Are Free To Love and isn't that what the 5th amendment is all about, or maybe I need to get more schooling. Either way! you seem like a very caring and loving mother and I say Rock On!

Bobbi Jean - posted on 02/03/2013

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The teacher was out of line. Your daughter is allowed her beliefs and convictions. The teacher is as well--but should not "push" her beliefs on your daughter.

On a number of occaisons, I had students ask me questions of a religious nature. Sometimes we went to the same church and sometimes we didn't. I would write down their questions, if they persisted, and gave them a choice of having me share their questions with their parents or they could take the questions home. I told them that the public school classroom was not the proper time or place to address this topic. Then the conversation was ended. If I shared the student's questions with the parents, I told them that their child was not in trouble, but I felt they were the better authority to handle the child's questions.

Tanya - posted on 01/13/2013

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I personally don't believe in god and organized religion. I don't think religion should be promoted by schools because many don't share those beliefs. But what happened to your daughter is wrong! If she believes she can love her Jesus any where she wants. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, as long as they aren't pushing it on others, they should feel comfortable with their beliefs no matter where they are. I am sorry she had to go through that. But each person's beliefs should come from their heart and can't be dictated by others. So you tell her she can love her Jesus any time and any where because that is her right!!

Samantha Georgia - posted on 01/11/2013

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This is definitely wrong. Pray with your daughter about what to do. Satan could be at work here. Just remember that God will use any situation that Satan throws at him and use it for a good purpose. Maybe your daughter will have an oppurtunity to testify (I know she's only young, but you can never be to young to be a christian!)

Tracie - posted on 01/10/2013

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All children need to be reminded that religion is a private matter for home and does not/should not be discussed at school. If you want clarification on this particular incident, maybe her teacher can shed some light.

Julie - posted on 01/09/2013

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I was told the same the same thing by my teacher in 1976. This is nothing new I am afraid. Sad, but true.
My mother removed me and my four siblings from the public school system and put us into Christian schools the following year.

Trinity River - posted on 01/09/2013

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I really believe that as parents we need to wake up to who we are sending our children to when they go " to school". I am not a Jesus woman, but I believe in prayer. I believe in and trust Spirit. There are so many alternatives to speaking to children and out of respect of them being People. it sounds like your daughter's teacher doesnt respect her for loving Jesus. If this were my situation, I would remind my daughter that not everyone understands love for Jesus and thats ok, but its important for your daughter to continue her faith. Its hard because as your teaching your daughter to Love Jesus, her teacher is teaching her its not ok. Many Blessings.

Kathy - posted on 01/09/2013

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I think that the teacher is way out of line! I don't know what to tell you. My husband and I have put our child in a christian school. We love it. He can pray, and his academics are way ahead of public school. If I were you, I would take her out of a public school and put her in a Christian school. The public schools will continue to get worse and worse. Jesus is coming soon. If you can't afford Christian school or homeschooling... I would tell the teacher how you feel. The only problem is that this might make her class room experience even worse. The teacher may not treat her well. So Sad! Maybe you could call Jay Sekulow!

Kathy - posted on 01/09/2013

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I think that the teacher is way out of line! I don't know what to tell you. My husband and I have put our child in a christian school. We love it. He can pray, and his academics are way ahead of public school. If I were you, I would take her out of a public school and put her in a Christian school. The public schools will continue to get worse and worse. Jesus is coming soon. If you can't afford Christian school or homeschooling... I would tell the teacher how you feel. The only problem is that this might make her class room experience even worse. The teacher may not treat her well. So Sad! Maybe you could call Jay Sekulow!

Amber - posted on 01/06/2013

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At that age, it is WRONG for the teacher to tell ANYBODY that they are not allowed to love Jesus in their classroom. I know it is the TEACHERS classroom but it's not like your daughter goes around saying she loves Jesus every 2 minutes. I know everyone has different views of Jesus though.

Tell your daughter not to get stressed over the situation. The teacher was totally Overreacting !!!

Julia - posted on 01/01/2013

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I know this is old, but many teachers don't understand the laws about God in school. Teachers cannot lead prayers in school, school cannot force religion on kids, but they can't force it out of them either. for example a teacher cannot discuss the bible in a public school classroom, but they can't prohibit a student from bringing a bible to school for show and tell and, well showing and telling. Students can discuss religion, write about it in their school work, etc and not have it held against them. Unfortunately many teachers don't really understand the laws and as soon as anyone brings up religion in their classroom they get nervous and shut it down. Ask the teacher to meet with her. explain to her how you understand the law and that you expect that your daughter will not be told she can't love Jesus or anything that might make her feel uncomfortable, that her religion is being disparaged or that she is being discriminated against for her religion and if you are not on the same page ask her to bring the issue to her principle because you want her to be comfortable that she isn't violating any polices or laws but that you also can't tolerate your daughter feeling uncomfortable talking about her love of Jesus, just like you wouldn't want her to feel uncomfortable about her discussing love of you, her dad or her grandparents. If you can afford it consider a Christian based school, even if it is a different denomination of Christianity.

Clarice - posted on 12/26/2012

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I am Sorry that she was told that. I feel that the teacher was rude. It's like she is infringing upon freedom of religion. I am a believer in religious tolerance. Just saddens me.

Rachel - posted on 12/25/2012

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Well is that even what really happened? It doesn't sound like your child even said that it was the teacher who said that.

Alicia - posted on 12/16/2009

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NO it is not right ... the teacher is not even supposed to discuss it with the children... my son and daughter bless their food before they eat it no matter where they are and as long as they are not saying aloud then there should be no problem.
you tell your precious little girl that she is allowed to love jesus any where she wants, and i would defenatley have a meeting with the teacher regarding the situation and if need be include the principal..
good luck and god bless
alicia

Angelia - posted on 12/13/2009

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I know that jesus and prayer is not allowed in schools. But I would just explain to her the rules & that not everyone believes. That could be an issue that the teacher does not believe and she doesn't want it in here class. because I believe that a child should not be critized for their beliefs. But I know that is hard. Maybe try switching her class to a new teacher or a new school. We had ours in a private school and they actually had daily devotion and weekly church so they had that in their lessons on a regular. But now that things are hard they are in public school. They know about their own beliefs and they talk about it all the time. But I don't believe that it was okay for the teacher to tell a 5 year old that it is not allowed to be in school. I would try to talk to the teacher and have some kind of middle. She is only 5 for heaven sake.. just keep on teaching her the right things in life and she will remember and follow always..good luck..

Sheal - posted on 12/13/2009

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I'd call the teacher up and speak to her - it's against the constitutional rights (both USA and Canada's) to withhold the right to religion. This is regardless of state\school separation, the laws specifically state that one cannot be prejudiced against because of their religious background. Teacher isn't even allowed to ask what you or your child's religion is.

Kecia - posted on 12/03/2009

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Who is she to tell a 5yr old child who they are and who they aren't to love, that is wrong, if your daughter loves Jesus that is awesome. I know if my little girl ever came home and told me that, her school would not like me. You should stand up and let the world know you believe in Jesus, and if they don't like it PRAY for them.

Holly - posted on 12/03/2009

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Girl! My oldest is in the first grade at the school where the whole issue started!! My suggestion would be talking to her teacher to find out how it was brought up and exactly what your daughter did that was not "allowed". Then if needed follow up with the principal. While the school is prohibited from whatever, the individual actions of a 5-year-old shouldn't be so much of a concern that she has to be "corrected" and confused by her teacher.

Lisa - posted on 12/02/2009

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I would definately contact the school and set up a meeting with the teacher if he/she acts funny at all about a meeting on the subject then you know that your daughter is being treated badly because of her religion if the teacher has no problems with the meeting and is not defensive then maybe it was taken out of context and the teacher was just trying to seperate the two. good luck

Gretchen - posted on 12/02/2009

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Just keep on, keeping on. My neighborhood is a melting pot of culture. We have Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Pagan and Muslim as well as many other religions just in our classroom. The teacher acknowledges there are other religions and other holidays besides the traditional. We had Diwali potluck because many are from India and it's fun to share. When half the class made Christmas countdown chains (or Yule), the other half made New Years chains. But there's also Kwanza, Winter Solstice (aka Yule), Channukkah all in the same month along with Christmas. Yeah Jesus is pretty cool... and so is Buddha and so is Ganesha. Tolerance goes both ways. Ask yourself how you would feel if one of the Muslim students said, "Praise Allah!" in the classroom. Would you be upset?

Lindsey - posted on 12/01/2009

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To everyone that has read and responded to this I extend so much appreciation. I currently have a meeting scheduled with the teacher and I hope that we can come to some understanding. This has been an incredibly difficult situation and I have read every response and idea from all of you, I will keep you all updated on what I find out. Thanks again.

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YOU CAN TELL YOUR DAUGHTER THAT ITS OK TO LOVE GOD ANYWHERE!!!THAT JUST SOMETIMES THERE IS ONLY CERTAIN PLACES YOU CAN TALK ABOUT HIM.MAYBE IF NOT ALREADY HAVE HER GO TO A SUNDAY SCHOOL SO THEN SHE CAN TALK ABOUT HIM ALL SHE WANTS TO THERE.

Rocio - posted on 11/29/2009

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I am a teacher myself, and my advice to you would be to talk to the teacher and explain the situation and find out the context like others have stated. But as a teacher we need to be open to everyone having their own religious backgrounds and we remain neutral not accepting or demeaning anyones views on spirituality. I think you will feel better and your daughter too if you face this head on.

Allison - posted on 11/29/2009

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I just found this post and I didnt read them all so I hope I am not repeating what anyone else has said. But you can tell her you can love Jesus all you want in school, you just love him in your heart and in your mind. This is a touchy subject with me. My oldest is in 1st grade and he goes to a public school too but we haven' t had issues either. YET!!
Good luck!! :)

Jenni - posted on 11/29/2009

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Hello, for what it's worth, little children should be allowed to love whoever they like, and if it's Jesus that's her choice. Whatever her own spiritual choices eventually are she should be able to explore them now to decide which one she will eventually settle with. My daughter and I talk religion a lot and she has her own little concepts and I want this for her so that the final choice is hers alone. At the moment she doesn't believe in God. That's her choice - some schools are horrified by this too! Is she also not allowed to love Barney? Clouds? Her teacher should allow her freedom of expression - it's part of forming her own identity.

Barbara - posted on 11/28/2009

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That is definitely something to check out. Sometimes kids misunderstand, yet other times they are dead on and the teacher doesn't tell the whole truth... I've had similar things happen with all 6 of my children. I would check it out and perhaps have the teacher and your daughter together so your daughter can remind the teacher exactly what was said. I'm curious to know the scoop.
The kicker is that our country was founded with a religious backbone yet atheists seem to be ruling things more and more. Stand up for your beliefs and tell your daughter she can love Jesus any where anytime... even if silently. sigh

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If the teacher really said that she needs a good talking to. I find the biggest problem i have with my kids and teachers is number one sometimes the kids do repeat things incorrectly or leave parts out when they come home, and believe me it doesn't get any easier, i have a 10 yr old that still repeats things wrong and number 2, if you do say something to the teacher how do you know that she won't just say what she has to, to cover her own butt. We as parents are sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place. I feel as a parent that i will always question the teacher on what happened, in my opinion a good teacher would not take offense to you addressing your child's concerns and would appreciate a parent taking an active role in their child's schooling. I have also found that even if my kids repeated it wrong once i have explained that i spoke to the teacher they are comforted by the fact that i took their concerns seriously and will stand behind them when they need me to.

Valerie - posted on 11/28/2009

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Your child has a right to her beliefs. I would go have a conversation with the teacher to figure out where this started and nip it in the bud. If you aren't 100% happy with the teacher go straight to the principal...What a teacher can say and what a child can say are two different things. Trust me that you will regret not taking action and asserting your rights now in the beginning of school..

Sylvia - posted on 11/28/2009

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You need to find out what the teacher *actually* said. Five-year-olds can miss a lot of context! Suppose, for example, that a child was dancing and jumping around singing "I love Jesus!" -- the teacher tells her to stop, because she's being disruptive, and she interprets it as "stop loving Jesus" instead of "stop disrupting the class." I'm not saying that's what happened, I'm just saying that very easily *could* be what happened. Please don't attack the teacher without getting all the facts.

I'm not sure where everyone is getting this idea that nobody is allowed to mention religion in public schools. At my daughter's school they talk about what holidays everyone's family celebrates, their religious and cultural traditions, etc., fairly frequently.

That said, if I found out that some other kid was *actively proselytizing* in my daughter's public-school classroom and the teacher had done nothing about it -- not even to say "you need to have these discussions on your own time" -- I would be annoyed. Trying to convert your classmates is totally inappropriate.

Tamela - posted on 11/28/2009

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First question I have is this - why do 'we' have to separate schooling and God? When we accept Jesus as our Savior and become a Christian, we live and breathe God. Same with our children. If we raise them this way and they go to school, does that mean that they don't love God while they go to school? No! As parents in any state in the US we have a religious and parental right to choose. All we have to do is sign a form to decline vaccines, decline other obligations due to religious or personal beliefs. So, if a school is saying my child can't say he loves Jesus in school, I beg to differ with a note to the principal. We have rights in this country and let's use them!

Bekki - posted on 11/28/2009

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Wouldn't you want the best education? trained teachers are the best for education. Homeschooling leaves out a lot of the things a teacher would have included.
I'm looking at having to homeschool my children as a traveling nurse and i don't like the options.. I'm not a teacher, i don't know what they know..

Debora - posted on 11/28/2009

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under the no child left behind you have the right to homeschool her .they have homeschooling support groups around .

Bekki - posted on 11/28/2009

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It sounds to me like a child misunderstanding what the teacher said, which is common in that age group. Your child probably said something about god in school, or asked a question about him and the teacher said we can't talk about that in school, she may have said "but i love jesus" and the teacher said .. but you can't do that in school (meaning talk about him) and your child took that to mean you cant love him in school.
I wouldn't go overboard and attack the teacher because those are your only allies in the school system.
In a country that is the melting pot that ours is i agree that religion and school don't belong together. Too many children may get offended if praying to another god than their own is brought in a class and they are made to feel like outcasts so i fully agree the only place for religion in schools in the heart of the student or a religious based school. Public school is hard enough without making kids feel different for different beliefs.

Karyn Mari - posted on 11/28/2009

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As a minister and kindergarten teacher, I would say that one should talk to the educator in charge and ask what the whole story is. One thing I learned a long time ago, never believe everything a kindergartener says word for word, even though it seems they quote God's own truth. What they share has been interpreted through their limited knowledge, and spoken through their perception. I promise my parents that I wont believe all they say about parents if parents don't believe everything the kids seem to think I said. haha. Go to the adult and ask. Help straighten it out for the child.

Nicole - posted on 11/28/2009

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I am lucky I guess to go to a small town school where the kids feel free to take AWANA invitations to their friends there and the teachers don't tell them it is inappropriate. That being said, even in small towns there are some issues. Believe it or not the son of someone I go to church with was last year in the FIRST GRADE called a "Jesus Freak" by some of the other kids. You need to be sure to teach her how to handle any situation no matter if started by a teacher or another student. I wish I could afford to send my kids to the Christian school or homeschool them but that isn't a financial possibility for us right now so the best bet you have if in the same boat is to keep an open line of communication between you and the school.
And if the teacher did say that in the context that your daughter thinks it was, talk to the principal and if he/she doesn't appear to be concerned about how this made your daughter feel, mention that you are considering an attorney for the squashing of her religious freedom...That worked wonders when the bullying situation here was going on. Just the mention of a lawsuit was enough to make the school sit up and take notice and get something done about the situation.

Paula - posted on 11/27/2009

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Unfortunately schools have made us believe that we can't even talk about Jesus in school. We as christians have to remind our children that no matter what the teacher says we can love our God no matter where we are. I know it's harder for your daughter to understand because she is so young and she wants to obey the teacher but I would have a talk with the teacher to get a full understanding of what happened. I would tell her how upset your daughter was and if she did say that she wasn't allowed to love Jesus at school that was the wrong thing to tell a child. Be nice but get your point across without seeming what they call "fanatical". Hope this helps.

Angie - posted on 11/27/2009

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It's interesting that this is coming up now. I'm reading the autobiography of the boy who's mother filed the lawsuit that took prayer out of school. She was a mean hateful person who took advantage of a teenage boy who didn't want to go to school. It's called My LIfe Without God. He is now a Christian.

Chelsea - posted on 11/27/2009

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I think that you need to conference with your daughter's teacher, because at this age children are sponges and if she is told this enough, she will start to believe it and i'm sure you do not want anyone infringing on your household's freedom of speech and religion!

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