To not let extremists into primary schools(134 Posts)
A friend's DCs go to this school and she is horrified about this and the books they received this week.
Surely telling kiddies that if they don't believe in God only bad things will happen and that 'homosexuality is a sin' is wrong.
jings it is hardly the local church minister is it, I cant believe the headteacher thought this was a good idea unless she is a member of the church I know children need to learn about all religions in school but that is really not on. we had a church of christ church near me but they lost their building but they were very evangelical
YANBU but free speech means that people can believe and say what they want.
I don't think that means people can go and say such stuff in a school.
you are right Kim not sure what that HT was on if she thought that was a good idea
We used to have a local "preacher" come to our school - it was a non-faith school. It took some time before he started to alter what he was saying to "Christians believe that" instead of stating things as a truth.
We used to have visiting Christians at the DC's school. The head teacher thought that if all their spiel was prefaced with "Christians believe that...." it made it OK. I expressed a strong opinion that saying "Christians believe that homosexuals will go to hell/women should obey husbands/the earth was created in 7 days and dinosaurs are a hoax" is not OK, and that anything that is not believed by both the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury needs a much more solid disclaimer.
Of course it's wrong.
I've just come on to point out that the ideology of extremist (far-right) economics is now driving the destruction of state education, & that's not making headlines in quite the same way. Long-term, both result in societal breakdown.
I would be going absolutely ape shit if this happened at my kids school. I have to tell them to go away enough as it is when they come knocking on the door Jehovah's witness style.
Free speech is fine, go and speak freely - away from my child in an education setting, cheers.
When DW was SAHM with DD, she would torment the Mormons and JWs by inviting them in and picking holes in their theology.
"I had to do something while the baby couldn't talk".
disgrace are you my husband? Lol.
Actually, I don't pick holes, I just question too much for the organised religions. The Methodists who taught me at Sunday school got fed up of me!
I have never met a Christian who thinks that Dinosaurs were a hoax!
you've never been to some parts of Northern Ireland then
Shade, can I introduce you to my sister? Satan planted dinosaur stuff to lead the unwary astray.
That was rather my problem Shade. I don't mind children being told that "Christians believe X" if Xis an official majority Christian belief. But I mind very much them being told that all Christians are Young Earth Creationists, because it's simply not true, especially not in Britain.
Dinosaurs didnt exist!!!!
Fuck me, religious people are fecking weird.
Religious nutjobs and god botherers btw.
Not all believers are weird.
Weeellll, tbf the fundies in the US are now claiming that humans co-existed wuth dinosaurs, and indeed hunted them to extinction. Which may be them "scientifically" taking on new ideas... Still very rare in the UK.
Db believes that the earth is only 6000 years old and all that jazz. He is a Pentecostal
Yes, db thinks that dinosaurs coexisted with humans
my poor nephew and niece
Google the "Creation Museum" in Kentucky, USA.
I soooo want to go to the 'Creation Museum'.
<disclaimer - I'm an atheist>
'Surely telling kiddies that if they don't believe in God only bad things will happen and that 'homosexuality is a sin' is wrong'
well isn't that the mainstream Christian stance ?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I reckon a HT who shows such appalling judgement should be sacked. She has failed in her duty of care.
The second link in the OP didn't work for me, try here. At least the authorities are dealing with it now its been brought to their attention.
Makes me wonder what would have happened if it had been a 'Free school' - I have misgivings that they could provide an open door to these extremists.
Surely telling kiddies that if they don't believe in God only bad things will happen and that 'homosexuality is a sin' is wrong.
but that's the message in the Bible. To get into heaven, you need to believe in God and follow the Bible and the 10 commandments. If you don't, you will go to hell.
YANBU of course your not... No one is going to say you are.
IMO ALL religious preaching of ALL faiths and beliefs should be banned from ALL schools. Religious Studies okay, preaching not.
And living I won't be going to hell thank you very much for not following the commandments (maybe prison for the stealing one if I suddenly decided to be a thief)... It doesn't exist.
I know EsTut I'm atheist. I'm just saying that that's what it says in the Bible.
Oh sorry... I thought you were being genuine with your going to hell comment.
I agree that what you said is mainstream Christian belief. Mainstream - not even extremist. It doesn't belong in schools.
That's thankfully not what it says in the bible.
People are saved through faith according to most Christians, not through deeds or following a set of rules.
There are of course loads of gay Christians too - in a liberal church there is no anti- homosexuality at all.
Christianity is a very broad church - loons at one end, liberals at the other - much like standard humans
I don't believe in homosexuality and I believe belief in one god is a must to be deemed a Muslim. But it's the same with Christians and Jews so to you it may be wrong to me it's not. I've not read the article I don't read the daily mail trash.
It's fine to teach kids about different religions as long as the kids are made aware which religion is being spoken about rather than statements being made as if it is the truth without telling the children which perspective it's coming from. At the same time kids should know mainstream atheist beliefs that the majority of the uk and USA seem to follow ie homosexuality is fine, belief in one god is crazy, it's fine to do anything you like as long a you're happy, sex before marriage is a great. Kids should know clearly where this stance comes from, to me that's indoctrination too. Simply blaming so called organised religion is an unbalanced view.
And those loons shouldn't be in school.
As a liberal Christian I don't believe church and state should be intertwined in education.
Laurie: If only everyone thought that.
It would be great if everyone thought that.
Unfortunately with free will there are always going to be numpties who don't 'believe' in homosexuality.
Dear me I saw an episode of the Duggar show (I forget the name. I watch it when I run out of Eastenders) and they visited in the creationism museum in KY. Hilarious. They're seemingly really nice people, they just need a more streamlined approach to thinking.
Dont misuse the word extremist. Not believing in homosexuality doesn't make someone an extremist. Maybe bizarre to some or discriminatory or narrowminded, but not an extremist. This language is propaganda lingo created by the western media to attack Muslims. Because extremists have always been around but the word has never been used in such a prolific way prior to 9/11. Hey any Muslim woman who covers her body is deemed an extremist, any man ith a beard is an extremist to me that is a disgusting hateful view coming from a so called civilised society. In all fairness it's from a minority.
Not believing in homosexuality in Britain is an extreme view as we have laws and a tolerant society to protect people from discrimination.
Why do you not 'believe' in homosexuality ?
What does it mean? There are plenty of gay Muslims obviously so Islam is a broad church too.
just, surely you mean 'not believing that homosexuality is OK'? Because there's no point not believing in homosexuality: it exists.
I wouldn't be so concerned about schools letting this particular group in if it was in the spirit of comparative religious studies and they also let in different Christian groups as well as Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist groups etc.
How can you not believe in homosexuality? It exists, plain as the nose on your face.
You can believe it is wrong, but you can't believe it doesn't exist surely?
South Lanarkshire council chiefs also launched an investigation into the sect’s eight-year involvement in the East Kilbride school. And they admitted that the group had infiltrated another school in the area whose pupils have learning difficulties. Unbeknown to many parents, several of the extremists worked as classroom assistants. They also helped with homework and performed other mainstream roles*
I find this astonishing. Why on earth has it been allowed to go on for 8 years? Those are children at a vulnerable age, and to prevent biased indoctrination, if they are being subjected to such extensive religious teaching, should cover a broad range of religions in equal measure.
For those who are unfamiliar with it, East Kilbride suffers extreme poverty and deprivation in some areas. I would have thought mainstream education offered the best way out of that. I hope the HeadTeacher is being disciplined for misconduct, as I cannot see how she is acting in the best interests of the pupils (as opposed to her own self interest).
Eh I know the area and I wouldn't say it suffers from "extreme poverty and deprivation"-certainly not compared to its Glasgow counterparts.
I would be interested to know which was the other school-do you know lessmis?
I find it incomprehensible that the parents didn't know of the affiliation of the school and this church and they couldn't deduce from the name-church of Christ-what kind of ideology they might be peddling.
I think many of the parents are just jumping on the media bandwagon in their "outrage".
Sorry pinupgirl that first paragraph should have come out as a quote from the article. I have no idea which was the other school.
I apologise if I caused any offence by my comment. I lived in Scotland for a while and have now moved back to Belgium - I had to go to East Kilbride a few times and saw some sights there which gave me that impression. I also vaguely recall seeing something to do with an organisation that might have been this church in the old village/town centre of East Kilbride, very prominently.
>I've not read the article I don't read the daily mail trash.
Justa - its not daily mail. Its a Scottish newspaper.(unless they're the Scottish branch of DM?)
They are extremist fundamentalist in their views - extremism doesn't mean terrorism.
>It's fine to teach kids about different religions as long as the kids are made aware which religion is being spoken about rather than statements being made as if it is the truth without telling the children which perspective it's coming from
This is exactly what wasn't happening. They were being taught fundamentalist, anti-scientific, homophobic crap as if it was the truth, and had had it impressed upon them that it was 'very important'. You should read the articles before commenting. The behaviour of this group was totally underhand. The behaviour of the school in not informing parents was also completely out of order. The parents only realised what was going on when the kids started bringing home literature.
Yes, what Laurie said... ^
I don't believe dinosaurs are a hoax. Good grief, I don't have to suspend all my critical faculties to be a Christian!
And I'm quite sure that God takes just as much of a benevolent interest in homosexual people as he does heterosexual people. The bible does state that certain kinds of homosexual activities are wrong - gossiping and not respecting your parents are included in the same paragraph, so which of us has a right to judge, hey?
Totally agree that hard-line bigotry should not be allowed in school.
8 years? This went on or 8 years? I thought they'd had them in for a few weeks or something! The head must have similar leanings.
You'd have thought some of the other staff might have raised concerns. Maybe its because people seem to have to be so careful not to 'offend' religious types?
It sounds like lots of the other staff were members of the weird group. The article says 'Unbeknown to many parents, several of the extremists worked as classroom assistants. They also helped with homework and performed other mainstream roles.' It seems that the books given to the children were the trigger because they took them home and their parents saw them.
Primary school teachers tend to be nice people, who aren't terribly keen on confrontation, have a track record of perhaps being insufficiently sceptical (Brain Gym, and longer ago ITA) and have a generally optimistic and trusting view of others.
Christian extremists tend to be cynical, skilled manipulators and liars, whose pronouncements on things like young-earth creationism can appear dangerously plausible if you aren't aware that YEC even exists as thing.
It's not a fair fight.
Anyone aware of how easily Trot entryists took over constituency Labour parties in the 1980s will sympathise with the school. Once there's a critical mass of people who turn up early, stay late, sit on unpopular committees and generally provide the sweat and hard work, it's very difficult to say "hang on, these people aren't our people". Eight people have apparently been excluded from the school in question, so the take-over was clearly well resourced, well planned and well executed.
You can mock the naiveté of the (one half of a job share) head, but I suspect that primary heads don't have extremist entryism high up their list of concerns. It would be interesting to know how so many non-EU citizens obtained whatever the Scottish equivalent of CRB checks is, and quite how many of them had work permits, but I suspect that their mostly being volunteers is a large part of the problem; volunteers may or may not be properly CRB'd (my experience is that schools vary on this), but if they're not being paid the governance associated with "employing" them will certainly be weaker than if they're on the pay roll.
The letter she sent out is, of course, career-endingly stupid. Primary schools are not the place for "balanced coverage", "teaching the controversy" and all the rest of the YEC "wedge issue" nonsense, even if you accept (as obviously I don't) that such books are balance or there is a real controversy. The whole idea that schools should distribute books they are given without analysing them, and that somehow they should be given a free pass because they are free, is absolutely wrong. But the whole saga of Kitzmuller v Dover Board of Education shows you how insidious these people can be, and how willing they are to lie and deceive in order to get their "ideas" over.
The head will presumably be sacked, and if she isn't I should imagine that the governors and/or the LEA will be having a firm meeting with her. Coffee and biscuits may well not be offered. It's possible that she was party to the scam, but it's unlikely: I think she's guilty of ignorance and naiveté about something which is not really within her remit. Sad.
She saw the books.
To be clear, YECs are a scourge in education and should be resisted at every turn. I've got a hair-trigger for their nonsense, and I've fought the good fight (to the point of a teacher receiving a final written warning) when I've detected its spoor.
Yes, she did see the books. But firstly, that was at the end of an eight year programme of infiltration: these weren't random books from random strangers, but from those nice people that they knew. She probably didn't look very carefully, and had she looked and asked, the "teach the controversy" line is very plausible if you aren't aware that there is no real controversy. And secondly, having studied more than a few of this sort of shite, they aren't as obviously preposterous as you might think. If you're aware of the menace of YEC, and you're aware of the lines they take, they jump straight out at you. But although it's tempting to believe that the books are by morons for morons, YEC didn't become the force that it is by being obviously moronic. It would be much easier to resist if it were.
And, of course, you and I presumably realise that creationism is a wedge issue for these sort of entryists, and that behind it are a whole raft of other things that are also very insidious and wrong. Again, the naive may not realise that, and may think that pretty stories about olden times are all much of a muchness, and that it's not something to get too worked up about.
Schools should realise that YEC is a menace, and you need to be on your guard. Many don't. I'm not sure how much that the headteacher's fault. I'd be more inclined to think that she's as much of a victim as the children in this, for the same reason I don't necessarily laugh at everyone who's the gullible victim of an advance fee scam.
I've just got around to reading the full articles and I see that the HT defended the books starting with the phrase "Whilst I realise that not every family in our school are practicising Christians......"
That's exactly what infuriates me, the attempt by YECs to annex the whole of Christianity, implying that all Christians are creationists and if you aren't a creationist you can't call yourself a Christian. Hugely dangerous in areas where there are lots of self-defined Christian children, and also leads to self-defined atheist children thinking that all Christians are idiots. The Pope is not a Creationist. The Archbishop of Canterbury is not a Creationist. YEC is a tiny fringe belief in the UK.
This is very timely, as next week is Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Arrr... and will they have a special assembly in schools like most do for other special religious days? Will they heck.
People worried about Free Schools being at liberty to teach nonsense might like to ask themselves how effective LEA control was in this case, too.
If it's been going on for eight years, then several cohorts had all or the vast majority of their primary education while the head was in thrall to entryist religious extremists who had effectively taken the school over; a bloc of eight people, in a two-form entry primary school, is a huge group. The head might very nervous about throwing them out and having to operate the school without them the following week: classic entryism.
While this was going on, all the alleged safety nets that LEA-controlled schools have that Free Schools don't (parent governors, LEA representatives, LEA advisors, etc) failed completely. For eight years. For those of us that are concerned about the ability of Free Schools to operate without proper oversight or governance, and who think that the way to deliver effective local education is via local education authorities, it's pretty sobering to see a school where it would appear LEA governance failed so comprehensively.
By the way, it appears that the blog referred to here has been deleted. But the snippets still available just reinforce the failure: didn't anyone notice that the nice TA (oh, sorry, unpaid TA) was blogging about her missionary zeal? Just what the hell was a two-form primary in Lanarkshire doing with an unqualified Mexican volunteer taking classes in Spanish anyway?
I just clicked my own links - first pages on each aren't much in the wayt of primer. But this is: Open Letter
Sigh. Need more coffee. Or Gin.
Friday - yes - but at least now its finally come to the LEAs attention they can do something about it.
You might have thought OFSTED would catch on that there was something a bit odd - maybe the volunteers made themselves scarce on inspection days or were very circumspect?
Just reading the article about the blogger, reminds me that DP and I once had to share a plane journey with of an American missionary, on her way back from Poland, where she'd been sent by her church, because they perceive people in Poland aren't religious enough.
She said it with a straight face. >head, desk<
The school's website doesn't appear to list the names of the people involved, but there is some evidence of pretty frenzied and recent scrubbing having gone on. And unfortunately, the Wayback Machine has almost nothing from the school.
Education Scotland's last report doesn't seem to pick anything up. It's clearly a high-performing school (well, with eight free full-time TAs, who wouldn't be?) and therefore the inspection was unlikely to have been tearing the place apart. Low FSM, high attendance. When things seem to be going well, the inspectors are less likely to be looking for buried bodies than they would be in a school which was obviously failing or was facing other challenges.
When thinking of the Spanish classes and the like, I'm somehow reminded of Edward Woodward asking Christopher Lee quite how they grew all that lovely fruit on Summerisle...
Another jog that we need to get our youngsters to talk about what they've been doing at school.
A couple of related snippets. I recall that the same book of the bible (Leviticus) which condemns homosexual acts, also condemns sex during menstruation, and provides interesting guidance on dealing with mildew. It's odd how one ruling gets talked about and debated constantly and others are ignored.
I had a long chat with our vicar earlier this week and he mentioned that a significant proportion of his year of ordinands (men being ordained priests) have since died of AIDS. This would have been 30 years ago (early 80s, and it was all men then). The CofE has many many gay priests of both genders.
In our school hand book it quite clearly states that the school promotes Christianity and it affiliated with the local church-which is literally across the road.
I am still dubious that the parent at this school knew absolutely nothing of this affiliation. Trips to our local church at easter and xmas are a given-I merely send a letter saying my dcs wont be attending as we are not practising Christians.
I wonder if these pupils had visited this church before?
Mind you, this could be happening in schools all over the country.
Mum: So what did you do at school today
For all we know schools could be full of groups preaching that we're descended from aliens or that we're all going to evolve gills and live under the sea.
you might enjoy these - toptenproofs.com/article_dinosaurs.php and
www.creationliberty.com/articles/dinosaursbible.php and this - beyondflannelgraph.wordpress.com/dinosaurs/why-dont-we-see-dinosaurs-in-most-paintings-of-noahs-ark/. I especailly like the thought of missionary lizards
"In our school hand book it quite clearly states that the school promotes Christianity and it affiliated with the local church-which is literally across the road."
But the school is question is listed as "non-denominational". Hard to be affiliated with a church, especially a lunatic fringe cult, and continue to claim that. As I say: entryism.
My school also states it is non demonational but the fact still stands it is affliated with the church.The minister comes in for special assemblies and I dont still dont believe that the parents in this case didnt know about the contact between the school and the church.
They may have been aware that people from a church were coming in, but evidently not the nature of it. There's a difference between standard CofE vicar (or local Methodist, URC etc etc) and a US creationist, homophobic missionary group. 'Church of Christ' sounds like...well, a Christian church, that's all.
Church of Christ is quite clealy an evangelical church and the parents should have been educating themselves about what this church was preaching to their kids.I wonder how many of the outraged parents will still allow their dcs to be in the nativity?
Arent academies out from under LEA control as well? Ripe ground for this sort of thing?
'Church of Christ is quite clealy an evangelical church'
I don't agree, not to an average 'apatheistic' or 'cultural christian' parent. This sort of church is outside most peoples experience.
I think I was misunderstood of course homosexuality exists I don't agree with it if that's an extreme view so be it. I'd like to add I'm not calling for violence against homosexuals either in case that's going through anyone's head.
But this is the problem with entryists. If you're on guard against nutters, you know the signs, but most people have better things to do with their time. The Trotskyite entryists of the 1980s were fairly obvious in hindsight, too.
My kids go to this school, Pinupgirl, and I can assure you that we knew nothing of this until last week!
The story has been totally sensationalised by the Daily Record. Non-denominational schools in Scotland have a selection of ministers from different faiths (representing faith in the local community) making up a chaplaincy team. The chaplaincy team take turns in leading assembly. They do not get to preach their own beliefs but only what is prescribed in the Curriculum for RME, mainly Christianity.
The classroom assistants were always supervised by the class teacher, and carrying out work as set down by the teacher.
So there has been no "preaching" to the kids at the school. Any church services they have attended during school hours (at Christmas for example) were at the local (Church of Scotland) church just along the road. The Creationists don't even have a church, but use a local community hall.
The Head Teacher made a huge mistake in not checking the content of the books thoroughly before they were distributed. She has apologised and the local Education Department is now involved to make sure procedures are now put in place to vet chaplaincy teams at all schools. It now seems to be turning into a witch hunt against the Head teacher which I am unhappy about. She made a mistake. Who hasn't?
Purple - thank you for setting the record straight.
1) "Christians follow the teachings of Jesus which are about being kind to other people, e.g. in the story of the Good Samaritan where someone helped a person from another culture when others walked on by" - fine.
2) "Christians believe that gay people will go to hell, women must wear hats in church and obey men, only men can teach etc. etc." - not fine, and not true, as these extreme beliefs are NOT representative of most reasonable Christians, they just represent bigots with loud voices.
You're a non violent bigot. Noted.
What about the other incidents at this school though purple?-when the junkie got in and was walking around the corridors? or when a child managed to slip out of the school and wasn't missed for quite a while? Huge safe guarding issues imo and if my dcs were at that school I would be questioning the heads role in all these incidents.
Add message | Report | Message poster justanuthermanicmumsday Thu 12-Sep-13 11:05:44
'I think I was misunderstood of course homosexuality exists I don't agree with it if that's an extreme view so be it. I'd like to add I'm not calling for violence against homosexuals either in case that's going through anyone's head.'
Havent-I don't understand why you are taking exception with that post? Many Christians don't agree with homosexuality. Now you and I may think that they are talking bollocks but we live in a democracy and just is as entitled to her opinion as you and I are to ours.
Of course they're entitled to their opinion. Just as I'm entitled to think they're bigots hiding behind mythology.
Freedom of speech is one thing. Freedom to propagate bigotry and lies to kids - without parental knowledge - is another.
The security issues are a whole other problem pinupgirl!! The gates are now being locked (most of the time) but seeing as the intruder jumped the fence there is no guarantee that it will never happen again. The P1 child wandering unnoticed in the playground is simply unacceptable though.
"Many Christians don't agree with homosexuality"
Homosexuality isn't an argument to agree with or not. It is something that exists. What does agreeing have to do with something that exists?
Do they agree with ants? What would it mean if they didn't agree with zebras?
What you mean to say is that they don't like it, although it is none of their business what consenting adults to in private.
justanuthermanicmumsday of course homosexuality exists I don't agree with it
To quote an internet phrase: Don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married.
What does the fact that YOU don't "agree" with it have to do with what we teach our children?
This is my child's school, I was initially annoyed and I'm really disappointed that the books weren't checked before being distributed and a bit pissed off at the school affiliating with a Christian group when they are allegedly non denominational .
BUT .. I am hugely uncomfortable with the suspension of the two head teachers and the blame being put Solely at their feet. Plenty of people could have flagged it up and question it.
Both the teachers are fantastic and are the making of the school and I'm rather devastated for them.
Oh and for the record East Kilbride isn't full of poverty and deprivation. We have the odd dodgy bit but overall it's a lovely place for families to live.
BUT .. I am hugely uncomfortable with the suspension of the two head teachers and the blame being put Solely at their feet.
Those of us outside the school don't know the full story.
But my gut feel is that the head's response to initial complaints, which was Whilst I appreciate that not every family in our school are practising Christians, I was only too happy to accept this generous gift on your behalf...I hope you will all accept it in the spirit with which it was offered was her death warrant.
Most practicing Christians are not homophobic young-earth creationists, so it ensured that the upset was now even more broad-spectrum as it goes straight to the "in order to be a proper Christian you must think list this" narrative which many Christians find extremely offensive. And her attempt to justify and defend the poor decision shows poor insight. Had she apologised and immediately started to find out what had gone wrong, the whole thing would probably have remained in-house, and she certainly wouldn't have end up suspended. But she instead decided to push on an not admit doing anything wrong. That was not wise.
And I suspect that the LEA will have grave concerns about the entryist aspects of it. It's not just the books, and the governance issues surrounding the arrival of the people from the Church of Christ are probably quite worrisome.
Do you know what's being alluded to when there's mention of the role of the Parent Council also being investigated? Might that, too, have been subject to entryism?
I don't know anything about entryism in the parent council as far as I'm concerned it a straightforward parent council and they coped with this brilliantly so far.
It is completely perplexing to me how the content in the books went unseen by the head teacher and how she didn't manage to find out that the Church of Christ were creationists as nearly every parent in the school found out in a 2 second google search , but essentially she is a lovely woman and runs the school fantastically at all other times. that is what is so odd with this .
The leader of the church of Christ somehow ended up on the school chaplaincy panel , how and why he was introduced to the school I have no idea.
It is completely perplexing to me how the content in the books went unseen by the head teacher *
She was busy, she trusted the people, she didn't check too carefully. A mistake, no more.
As I say, the problem is that once concern was raised, she didn't either check her facts or admit the mistake, she pushed on and tried to justify the books. That is, I'm afraid, the end of her career. To state that you made a mistake over distributing homophobic and YEC material (I suspect the council are more concerned about the homophobia, even if the tricerotops ridden by men in 1930s safari outfits pulling carts are more amusing) is survivable. To argue that even once you have been given detailed knowledge of the contents you are still happy about the decision is suicidal.
She did make a mistake but I'm still upset she was removed , the school will suffer as a result in my opinion :-/
Whenever the subject of 'agreeing' with Gay Marriage comes up, I always want to quote this.
If we're poking fun at the fundies, this.
Its a huge shame that two otherwise good HTs have fallen foul of these people and thereby the school will suffer. Hopefully they'll find new positions (they've not been sacked as such but 'redeployed' and for sure will never make that mistake again.
'It is completely perplexing to me how the content in the books went unseen by the head teacher' - perhaps the 'church' people weren't as transparent as they should have been. Some people who believe they are on the religious moral highground can be curiously lacking in basic ethics.
That's true Errol, I'm sure they are all nice people but they may have hidden their agenda from the HT and she just took them at face value.
I'm sure they are all nice people but they may have hidden their agenda from the HT and she just took them at face value.
That all explains how the books went out in the first place. It doesn't explain the head's failure of insight in then attempting to defend the decision even once the books had gone out. That wasn't about the entryists. That was about the parents, stood in front of her, holding books that she could inspect page by page. Even in that situation, she argued that she was right to have sent the books out. That is what got her suspended, I suspect.
Had, when the first complaints arose, she looked at the books, thought whatever primary teachers think instead of "oh fuck", got her act assembled and written a contrite note admitting that a mistake had been made, she'd still be in post. There'd be a dispute about the governance that led up to the books being distributed, and the LEA would probably be involved, but she'd be in post. It's the lack of insight in attempting to argue, essentially, that even having seen the content in more detail she still thinks that the books were OK that shows that either (a) she simply doesn't understand the issue or (b) she is unable to separate the interests of the school from the interests of the entryists. Either is, frankly, career ending.
Friday16 - I think the comments about the role of the Parent Council means going forward, how it can have a stronger role in the school, be more involved in decisions like who is on the Chaplaincy team.
I agree if the HT had straight away said, oops my mistake, please return the books, then that would have ended the matter. It was the letter implying that non- religious parents were being a bit narrow minded in returning them that sealed her fate. A shame when she was not far off retirement.
Love your name btw 50shades!
Ha thanks purplerunner just wondering if you are anyone I know or if I've outed myself on here.
It is completely irrelevant how nice, pleasant, wonderful, fabulous or whatever the headteacher was.
She executed extremely poor judgement and put pupils at risk when she invited this organisation into her school.
She should never have the opportunity to do this again.
Finally, there is no shortage of qualified first-class headteachers who would be able to lead this school successfully if they were given the chance (which they will be now).
Can I just add, at my school all people who volunteer to work as parent helpers are just that, parents or grandparents. They are not volunteer 'classroom assistants'. They are all CRB checked before hand.
All vacancies for Classroom Assistants/Support for Learning Assistants are advertised through the Council website. Every applicant will apply the same way, with a short list for interview.
This business has made me so cross .
I know it's irrelevant and I'm not surprised they were ' redeployed' its a complete mess. But having a child that went to the school it's relevant to mention how well the woman normally did her job and how good she was at it.
But having a child that went to the school it's relevant to mention how well the woman normally did her job and how good she was at it.
I can see it from the LEA's perspective, though. A well-organised and motivated group of entryists convinced her of their bona fides to the point that they were operating all across the school, and were able to distribute literature without any checks being carried it. As it happens, they were (generally) harmless nutters: it's unlikely that beyond angering some parents and causing some tense conversations in some houses much long-, or even short-term harm was done. Stupid, offensive and lacking in care and insight, but ultimately harmless.
However, as tabby alludes, this happened "around the side" of normal process. How many schools have people working in classrooms who are neither (a) parents/grandparents nor (b) employees who have been through a complete application, interview and references process? Even if these entryists had CRB checks (which, for foreign citizens, are close to meaningless), why did no-one ask "why are these people volunteering at this school?"
Parents and grandparents have an obvious motivation and link to the school; employees are interviewed and "why do you want this job?" is a pretty straightforward question, and being paid is a pretty clear motive. Why were these people (eight of them, it would appear) offering to work, for free, at a primary school? You don't have to be paranoid who sees abusers behind every tree to think that a headmistress sufficiently gullible to allow that to happen wouldn't have noticed had they been, say, inviting children back to meetings in their houses which it's important that they don't tell their parents about because they won't understand. It's a safeguarding nightmare. If you turned up at a school, with no connection to it, and said "I want to volunteer in the classrooms, no need to pay me, just being with the children is reward enough", a sane school will want chapter and verse on why you want to do this. That, it would appear, broke down. And it's hard to say "how good she was at it" with a safeguarding disaster like this. CRB checks aren't enough: what also matters is why people are in the classroom.
True Friday, but I would dispute the claim that these people are harmless. I'm in the inner city and a lot of the children have been brought up to have their Christianity central to their personal identity. If these guys can convince primary children that YECs is a core part of their faith then they are setting them up for a dreadful relationship with their secondary schools.
It would bean interesting study for an MA, but I have a suspicion that amongst the sort of Christians for whom it's "central to their personal identity", there's no shortage of YECs already, without outside intervention. But yes, I take your general point, had they succeeded in developing the "real Christians this like this" narrative then it might cause a lot of trouble downstream, and I was wrong to say "harmless".
Not harm in a safeguarding sense, however. Which is a real concern when you have eight "volunteers" working together with the head being very naive about their activities.
Excellent post, friday, esp after you clarified about the "harmless" aspect.
Most of us have little tolerance for this religious intolerance, but it might be worth reinforcing, in so few words, what Dawkins put so perfectly: that forcing a child to believe [xx religious principle] is tantamount to child abuse.
It's one thing to promote values that happen to align with most [mainstream] sects of Christianity (or, indeed most of the other majors and minors): Be good to each other, place in community, honour family, etc.
But it's another to say to a child "if you don't believe XX or YY [myth or bigoted opinion] you will GO TO HELL, and your parents are already going to hell for not doing this themselves...".
Well, anybody, really, but definitely a child. Definitely DEFINITELY a primary-age (or lower) child. They are too young to have developed the critical thinking that will enable them to take such teachings at a level they can cope with. Or, maybe more precisely, young children have untrained but BRILLIANT critical thinking - they love to question things: to stop them in their tracks for the sake of A.N.Cult's Mythical Omni-spanker, is cruel. I honestly akin such mind control to porn or drugs.
I fully agree Marina and Friday, before it broke in the media I read the books for myself and I was furious at the content and ready to put my own complaint in, I was in disbelief that a school so previously meticulous with safety etc had allowed this to happen.
After I cooled down and saw the media coverage I just felt sorry for what a great error she had made.
I have friends with kids at this school and I'm a bit appalled that this has turned into a witch hunt.
This church group arrange out of hours school activities (games/after school clubs etc) and were probably a benefit to the school really as it would have saved them money.
I don't know why this religious group wanted to get involved in schools, whether it is just community support similar to other churches in the area. That is the only thing that I'd question. ( well that and the dubious literature/beliefs )
What is not fair is that people from this religious group are being hunted down in the local area and being treated like peadophiles or similar.
Tensions are high, there is unacceptable things being written about them online. If they thought that they were genuinely helping then it is shameful that people have treated them with such contempt.
The whole thing is a mess and shouldn't have occurred but the punishment doesn't fit the cause.
But they weren't being "genuinely helpful", nor was that their intention. Well, by our standards, anyway. Their version of "helpful" (and their reason for being there - not least according to the blogger from Mexico) was that they felt the local populace wasn't "Christian enough" and that they had to be brought round to the right way of thinking.
PS - Hope I haven't spent so much time typing this that I won't be the first person to point out the fucking irony that any attack against these people is deemed a "witch hunt".
Just saw a tv news story about it. Appalling.
Hahaha good point 'witch hunt'.
Really though, any religious organisation gets involved with the local community to improve it or create more insert religion awareness. Be they Christian, Baptist, Catholic, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish etc. They all mean well.
The fact that these particular people's religion is crackers doesn't really matter to me- religion should only exist in a historical, sociological or theoretical manner in non- denominational schools.
I have no problem with the teaching of different beliefs, shoving them down peoples throats and stating it as fact, gives me the major arse ache.
>Really though, any religious organisation gets involved with the local community to improve it or create more insert religion awareness
Mostly yes - but in the case of this sort of evangelical group their primary motivation - which they believe is a God-given duty - is to convert. Not to 'create awareness'.
"They all mean well."
Really? Should sexist organisations that believe that women are second-class citizens incapable of leadership (ie, all the faiths you list) be encouraged to promote that attitude to girls? If I went into a school and told girls that they were only fit for child-bearing and should leave the thinking to men, I would be chased from the building. Why is that position OK, as something to teach in schools, just because you believe that your imaginary friend agrees?
No as i said upthread - I didn't say that anything that these organisations preach should be allowed in schools, just that on the whole they meant well (via their beliefs whether they are misled or not).
So for these people to be vilified for doing what they did when they'd been given free reign by the School Head is unfair.
Many of them have had to take their private websites etc down and have police guard at home because of parents and locals threatening them following this scandal. I don't think that is fair.
The head teacher is to blame for lack of judgement in this case IMHO. But there is a real feeling of mob rule at the moment which I personally think is a bit OTT.
This is my old primary school, they always had connections with the local church and would have the minister come to hold assemblies and the odd classes but I didn't know they were now encouraging such an extremist view. It is supposed to be a non-denominational school too.
Mrscucumberpatch I do not require religious groups who promote extremist views to come to my school to "save me money" by providing after school clubs for my pupils, thank you.
The reason that this particular group wanted to "get involved" in primary schools is surely obvious. Targeting young children for indoctrination is a very effective way of brainwashing them to believe any old ridiculous claptrap. It is a proven tactic, and can be very successful, if unchecked.
If these people are now being targeted and "treated like paedophiles", whilst this is unfortunate, they have (like paedophiles) grossly abused the trust of parents and their children by misrepresenting themselves (and their real intentions) at the school. The local community feels violated, betrayed and is very, very angry.
"Tensions are high"? For reasons I have already stated, mrscucumberpatch.
"Punishment doesn't fit the crime"?
What punishment? Two headteachers redeployed; so-called 'voluntary workers' removed from the school; local anger against perpetrators from community who feel betrayed.
I don't want to be drawn into an argument about it because we don't all need to agree here.
I just think its odd that given the sheer number of letters that we receive from school/nursery etc that not one communication regarding this was sent out to parents. For that reason I would lay the blame at the foot of the head teachers, not the misguided people who believe that they are providing a service.
The whole thing is awful and should never have happened but noone died here. Yanbu for people to be outraged but is it BU for people to condone violence following it.
Imjust- have you even read the thread? This is just one of 5 religious organisations on the school chaplaincy team and they don't even have a church. The school still attends services twice a year at the West Kirk, same as it always did.
This group has been involved in the school for EIGHT years and the distribution of these books was the first actual attempt to preach/influence the children. So their attempts to "indoctrinate" hadn't exactly been successful so far!
Plus I don't know where the quoted 8 people is coming from. There was the chaplain and 3 missionaries working as classroom assistants as far as I know. So 4 in total.
50shades - you don't need to worry about outing yourself to me as I think you actually are me! We seem to have a very similar line of thinking.
I would say its fundamental Christians, they take everything so literal in that their views are slightly unhinged.
The Christian Bible can be interpreted to say gay marriage is fine because God will love all mankind.
Extremists to me as a word is crazy loons blowing themselves up.
Yes I have read the thread purple, where have I said that this particular religious group has a church? I was stating my experience of the school and my opinion, or is that not allowed?
Purple and 50shades I could be you too. My kids are at this school and while I think allowing the books to be distributed was a mistake it has been blown out of all proportion and there just hasn't been any indoctrination going on. I hope the head teachers will be back soon but fear the vocal minority will get their way.
I think because we know what the school is really like feedmewell we know that it was likely not intentional, I can see how outsiders who don't know the staff in question would think it seems more sinister than it is.
dd1 initally went to rc preschool/primary near our house linked to rc church next door we not rc.
The all bapised coe.
dd1 gies coe primary now loats of faiths there again onlt afiliated with coe chutch next door.
i went to community junior who had harvests in baptist church , xmas in coe,
have few athiest non christian freinds who send kids to rc infants/rimary yet ourages at christian stance as forget uk predominatly christain country we not secular like france.
bizzarly compating cimmunity wth coe which admissions contrilled y counil not aided feel fairer more balanced mix its fath lite.
the chrustians are staisfies
other faiths ok with it lots sikks muslims
we all live in harmony.
There is no place for religion in non denominational schools in Scotland. I actually disagree with them even sending kids to church services at christmas and easter. the schools are non denom, not Christian. No problem with a high level teaching of the existence of some of the more widely practised religions and what they believe - where this does not promote discrimination - but it should stop there. This should not have happened in this school, and unfortunately there has to be accountability so the heads had to go.
I just wonder in uk at leats maybe picking denominational church where affiliated churches vews well known safer than community school non dom afilated with which chrsitain nu tjob takes their fancy.
I have no idea why athiests thnk uk state schools are secular and seem outraged by religious content
Hmm actually non denom may indeed be Christian, just been looking into it. Incidents like what has just happened in kirktonholme further persuade me that secularisation of our schools is a good thing.
A denomination is a religious sub-group, e.g. Baptist, Anglican. So the school isn't claiming to be non-religious, just that it isn't affiliated to a particular smaller group. I think in this instance it's shorthand for saying the school is Christian, but not Anglican/Baptist/Methodist/Catholic.
mam29 I have no idea why athiests thnk uk state schools are secular and seem outraged by religious content
Do you understand what secularism is? A secular school would not exclude religious content - a secular system pays equal respect to all religions and none. Instruction, not indoctrination, and all that.
As an atheist, I have zero problem with comparative religion classes. 'Some Christians believe X' and 'Many Muslims think Y' are more than acceptable.'You will believe X' and 'You will think Y' less so.
Saffy, in Scotland we have non denominational, and RC primary schools, we have nothing like CoE. Non denom will (by law) feature worship of a broadly Xtian nature but dc can be withdrawn, so we expect them to be pretty much secular in nature.
Join the discussion
Please login first.