To send this arsey email to DSs head teacher?

(212 Posts)
Cookethenook Fri 29-Mar-13 11:18:08

Dear x,
I hope you're enjoying the start of the Easter Holidays and making the most of your well earned break!

I have a bit of a complaint I'm afraid, regarding a story that Ds was told in an assembly the other day. It involved a man taking his son to work with him and the child getting stuck in a piece of machinery that operated a bridge. This resulted in the man having to make the very difficult decision between saving his son and saving a train full of people. Ds then went on to describe the fact that God had thought that the man had done the right thing by saving the train instead of his son.

I have to say, myself and my other half were really shocked by this!

I feel it's a very very adult moral dilemma to be telling ks1 children about, let alone totally despicable that in the 21st century people still feel it appropriate to put 'the fear of God' into children. I understand that the story was trying to teach a lesson about the greater good, but I have no idea why it had to be set in such a horrific situation, nor why God had to enter into it at all- surely it is better to teach children to have strong morals because THEY think it's the right thing to do, not because of what a God tells them?

Im not usually one for belittling a child's emotional intelligence, but the love that a parent has for a child is something a young child couldn't possibly comprehend. I felt that the story was completely inappropriate for the age of the children in this respect and Ds seemed quite concerned that we wouldn't save him if we were in a similar situation.

One of the main reasons we chose to move Ds from his old school was because of the fact it was c of e and being humanists, we felt that the Church of England does not teach equality or inclusion (equal marriage rights and women's rights to name a few). Now, I realise that all schools have to include collective acts of worship into their curriculum and that we have the right to withdraw Ds from them if we wish but we have not done so previously as DS enjoys Christian worship and we didn't want him to feel singled out. It would be very disappointing if we did have to withdraw him, but I really don't feel comfortable with him feeling that bad things will happen if he doesn't follow God's word.

Kind regards
Cooke

I hope it's clear from the email what exactly happened. We were so shocked when DS told us in the car this morning. He really is quite fearless, but the story did seem to have confused and shocked him quite a bit. I'm not surprised tbh, if the story was a film, it would not be suitable for under 7's.

I don't feel we're overreacting about this (although I'm sure there will be those who disagree!), but is this ok to send? Anything that I should take out? I did end up having a bit if a rant, so it might not be totally coherent or relevant. I'm also not sure how to end it.

Argh, I'm so angry!

It seems fine to me but then I'm an atheist. Perhaps the opinion of a Christian would be of more help?

aftermay Fri 29-Mar-13 11:22:26

I'm an atheist. I still think your email is too much. Just tell your son it's a bonkers story and an odd choice for assembly. I'd let it go.

ArseAche Fri 29-Mar-13 11:22:29

Just ignore it, expect your ds will have forgotten it all by today.

Cookethenook Fri 29-Mar-13 11:24:37

Do you mean too much in the wording I've used or too much to send the email at all?

aftermay Fri 29-Mar-13 11:28:09

Too much to send it at all. You can deal with the distress and confusion without a formal complaint. What do you hope to get out if it? Let it go.

HollyBerryBush Fri 29-Mar-13 11:28:14

Assemblies on moral dilemma don't have to have a religious bent, however within the curriculum - and by law - all state school must provide the opportunity for 'collective worship'. It is your right to withdraw your child from that, namely assemblies.

Fairyegg Fri 29-Mar-13 11:28:38

Seems a bit of an ott email to me which i think would give the head teacher a good laugh. Are you also totally taking your ds word for what actually happened as opposed to going in and discussing it with the teacher? Can't say I would be bothered if my 6 year old learnt this story. Just talk it though with your ds and he'll soon forget.

coldandmiserable Fri 29-Mar-13 11:31:08

I would complain - this kind of lunacy drivers me crazy and I do think it's a very, very bad choice for assembly. I'd write a shorter email though and just stick to the key points. And I wouldn't mention withdrawing dc unless you REALLY mean that.

MissAnnersley Fri 29-Mar-13 11:31:19

I wouldn't send an email. Phone the school after the holiday and ask to speak to the head teacher or make an appointment to see him.

Always best to let the emotions settle before any communication I find.

Your DS will probably forget about it and I would dismiss it as a 'silly story'.

I would share your disquiet though.

ArseAche Fri 29-Mar-13 11:32:02

My dc, at the same age as yours wouldn't have even remembered half the story.

Check the story first sounds a bit OTT but if it upset the DC worth checking out.

But YABU to contact the school out of term time. How would YOU like your holidays interrupted even if you were just catching up on paperwork. ?!

Cookethenook Fri 29-Mar-13 11:36:02

He's 7. He said 'Vicar told us this story in assembly yesterday' and then told us the story in great detail. His comprehension is very good and I have no reason to believe he would make it up. If that's not what happened, I'm prepared for ht to tell me otherwise!

We told him to put it to the back of his mind. I personally don't think scaring children into doing the right thing is a laughing matter tbh and if she did have a good laugh about it, I'd be very concerned about her moral compass.

5inabed Fri 29-Mar-13 11:37:22

Are you guys kidding? If my kids were told this story I would be furious. My children are p1 and p3 and they would be very upset by this. I can't believe the rest of you think the op is bu. I think that story is completely inappropriate and can't see the point if telling it to small children. Yanbu and I would complain too.

LoopaDaLoopa Fri 29-Mar-13 11:38:53

I'm a teacher, and have wasted spent the first morning of my holidays dealing with a parental complaint, which turned out to be a complete storm in a teacup.
I'd complain too, OP. I would cut down a lot of what you have written so far and keep it to the facts. Who gave the assembly? Was the head there?

LoopaDaLoopa Fri 29-Mar-13 11:40:27

Ah, the vicar gave the story? Doubt the head will have the balls to approach the vicar on this, unfortunately. I'd send a copy to both the head and the vicar, addressed to the latter and CCd to the former.

MissAnnersley Fri 29-Mar-13 11:40:40

I agree with you 5inabed. I would very concerned myself. However I don't think a lengthy email is the way forward.

Keep your powder dry OP and contact the school after the holidays.

Meerkatwhiskers Fri 29-Mar-13 11:41:13

I'm an atheist and I'd be doing the same thing as you. Its not too much at all. Its even worse as you moved him from a CofE school. The sooner education becomes secular the better in my opinion! One thing France has right!

Fairyegg Fri 29-Mar-13 11:42:03

I think it would give the head teacher a laugh as in your own words it so 'arsey'. Seriously, leave it til after the holidays then go in and discuss your concerns. To be honest kids hear a lot worse stories in the play ground, on the news etc, it was just a story designed to make them think.

QuintEggSensuality Fri 29-Mar-13 11:42:22

I would complain. I am a Christian. This was not appropriate at all.

But I would leave out the last paragraph and focus on the trauma caused and that the story undermines a child belief that his parents/carers could be relied upon to save him. It teaches young children that they as individuals dont matter, and that God will be happy to sacrifice them for the greater good. Which is a ludicrous thing to teach a child.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 29-Mar-13 11:42:44

I wouldn't send that email. Too long for a start. I agree with others that you need to let the emotions settle first, then review it. If you are going to send an email, stick to the key points. However, I think it might be better if you go in and express your feelings to the headteacher face to face next term instead.

I agree that it was a stupid story to tell to young children.

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 29-Mar-13 11:42:50

It's not a 'moral story' though, it is the Easter story, and as I imagine it was done as the children are now off for Easter it seems perfectly reasonable? How would you explain the crucifixion to children?

quietlysuggests Fri 29-Mar-13 11:43:09

You have already moved your child and are now about to send this email.
You may be right, you probably are, and you are within your rights.
But you are marking yourself out as an odd-ball, and you son will be laughed at in the staff room and any teacher will roll their eyes at the mention of your family.
Just how it is.
Maybe you dont mind standing out and being known for being odd/ difficult, but if you do mind, then do not send the email.

LadyBeaEGGleEyes Fri 29-Mar-13 11:43:55

I think the e mail is too long and detailed, though I agree with you Op.
That sort of moral dilemma, whether God is involved or not, is hard enough for grown adults, much less small children.

aftermay Fri 29-Mar-13 11:44:25

But what exactly did you expect them to be taught in a religious assembly? The poor vicar thought he'd make it all funky and up-to-date with trains and bridges. He should have kept to shepherds and donkeys. It's religion, it's bonkers. Pull him out If you feel so strongly.

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