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to not want this woman teaching my DD?

(43 Posts)
NigelYerABawbag Mon 20-May-13 09:57:01

I volunteer for a national charity - I won't name it, but the work is with vulnerable/struggling families with young children. There's a 10 week training course before you can volunteer.

On my training course, there was a woman with some fairly bigoted and offensive views. For example, she said she had a problem with gay couples being able to adopt "because of the risk the children might be interfered with" and that domestic violence was often provoked by women so that they could use it in court to stop fathers seeing their children hmm

My 10yo told me recently a new teacher had been coming once a week to do Bible lessons (DS is at a small village CofE school). I saw this woman in town a few days ago and it turns out she is the teacher, which makes me feel quite uneasy tbh.


MolotovCocktail Mon 20-May-13 10:02:56

There's not a lot you can do right now, OP, because she hasn't done anything (yet).

I'd keep my eye on her and regularly ask my child how the lesson with that person had gone. Anything iffy and I'd be at the school to complain in a heartbeat - but only based on questionable statements/actions at school.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 20-May-13 10:06:13

Are you allowed to opt out of lessons like this, or is it just worship that you are allowed to opt out of? Hopefully someone else will know.

I wouldn't want someone like that teaching my children either, because if they did, I'd have to tell them that this teacher has views I strongly disagree with, and I would rather my dc kept their belief and trust in their teachers.

NigelYerABawbag Mon 20-May-13 10:08:45

Well that's it, she has done nothing wrong in her role as my child's teacher. I can't imagine the scheme I volunteer for would be impressed if I took things she has said in their training to another organisation, either.

valiumredhead Mon 20-May-13 10:08:49

She can have an opinion on whatever she likes just as long as she doesn't tell the kids crap like that!

MolotovCocktail Mon 20-May-13 10:10:26

It would be a shame to withdraw your child from Bible lessons because of this woman, OP. I completely agree with Clouds in that I wouldn't be happy with that woman teaching my child but you can only go with what has gone on in the classroom. Otherwise, I think you'd sound hysterical complaining about this person. Keep any complaints locate within the context of views expressed at school, IMHO.

Booyhoo Mon 20-May-13 10:10:41

oh i dont blame you at all OP! i wouldn't want that either. i'm not sure if there is anything you can do though. maybe speak to the head about the views she expressed to you( not sure though as it wasn't in her professional capacity)

EllaFitzgerald Mon 20-May-13 10:11:24

Nigel Just out of curiosity, if the charity helps vulnerable and struggling families, was she allowed to continue volunteering after she made her views known?

I don't think I'd want her anywhere near mine either.

NigelYerABawbag Mon 20-May-13 10:11:50

Yes I could opt DD out of the lessons. Seems extreme but then they are just Bible lessons (all about the New Testament stories).

Booyhoo Mon 20-May-13 10:12:13

you can speak to the voluntary organisation though so they know what they're sending out there!

NigelYerABawbag Mon 20-May-13 10:12:48

Ella - yes. And I have made my concerns plain to the local scheme organiser.

AMumInScotland Mon 20-May-13 10:16:02

How about going to the school and asking what they will be covering in their bible lessons, what they do to make sure the teachers who come in express views that the school consider acceptable, etc? It's a fair question - if this person is coming in from outside to teach lessons, then presumably they have to meet normal standards. Ask if the class's normal teacher will be present during the lessons to deal with any issues which might arise.

If they ask why you are concerned then there's nothing wrong in mentioning that you have encountered this woman before and been concerned with the views that she expressed.

Some schools are far too keen to take an easy option and let all kinds of people come in to take lessons without checking exactly what views and opinions they are going to be foisting on young children.

cory Mon 20-May-13 10:20:39

This is one occasion where I don't think it will do any harm to have a quiet word with your dd about trusting to her judgment and not believing teachers blindly. If it had been my dd I would probably have been perfectly open and said I had heard this woman say this and that I would like her to be polite and hardworking in class but to take things she says with a grain of salt.

I have always found that it is possible to bring up your children to be polite and respectful towards other adults without believing blindly in what they say. But then my parents were teachers and they didn't expect me to believe blindly in everything they said. grin

imaginethat Mon 20-May-13 10:31:34

I agree with cory. My dd was a bit worried about bible class information not tallying with scientific facts and we had a nice chat about sifting information and choosing your own beliefs, and also respecting others' beliefs.

NigelYerABawbag Mon 20-May-13 10:38:50

Oh I regularly talk to DD about that sort of thing, it comes up fairly often as DD is at a CofE school and lives in a firmly atheist home.

Its more the fact that I know her to be an ignorant bigot that bothers me.

cory Mon 20-May-13 10:42:19

Well ideally the world shouldn't contain ignorant bigots, sadly it does, at least you are in a good position to help your dd to deal with it.

apatchylass Mon 20-May-13 10:43:50

I'd use the teacher's presence as a way of opening up discussions with your DC on having her own mind and opinion on things. This woman has one opinion. Does she think it is right or wrong? Weak or Strong? reasonable or bigoted? Can she learn something worth knowing from the teacher? take away from the lessons anything worth learning, whilst respectfully having her own opinions.

It's not a bad thing for our children to be exposed to bigotry if we teach them how to handle it. It can help them learn for themselves and question authority in a healthy way.

NigelYerABawbag Mon 20-May-13 10:44:59

Fair enough, but when you know one to be teaching your child a subject that by its very nature will include discussion on morality, its a bit worrying.

She thinks homosexuality is linked to paedophilia FFS!

merrymouse Mon 20-May-13 10:46:43

Not unreasonable not to like it, but not much you can do about it unless she is actually offensive in class.

I would be tempted to find out what stories she is covering and discuss them at home. Even in a secular family they could lead to some good conversations about morality, compassion and our common cultural narrative.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 20-May-13 10:48:28


Homosexuality = paedophilia is one of my biggest hates. I have screamed at people for saying this, it is so damaging to gay people.

Watch and wait. She may trip herself up eventually.

FJL203 Mon 20-May-13 10:50:56

I'd withdraw my child from the classes, without question. Having said that, my child wouldn't be taking bible classes in the first place so I would have had the issue covered!

Decoy Mon 20-May-13 11:09:37

I'd speak to the headteacher.

ReallyTired Mon 20-May-13 11:19:07

Did you choose for your child to go to a faith school? If you faked church going tendencies choose for your child to go the faith school then Bible classes are part of the package.

"On my training course, there was a woman with some fairly bigoted and offensive views. For example, she said she had a problem with gay couples being able to adopt "because of the risk the children might be interfered with" and that domestic violence was often provoked by women so that they could use it in court to stop fathers seeing their children "

Her views are utterly offensive, however people do have the legal right to offensive views. The school cannot sack her for disagreeing with gay people adopting or having strange beliefs about domestic violence. Having extreme views in a school is only an issue if the woman is stupid enough to teach the views to the children.

No - you cannot pick and choose your child's teachers.

NigelYerABawbag Mon 20-May-13 11:25:51

oh fgs reallytired. No I didnt choose it. We live in the countryside. There is.nothing but church schools for.miles!

merrymouse Mon 20-May-13 11:28:03

I think in a small village c of e school, and bearing in mind that your daughter is ten, educating your daughter would be the wiser option.

As others have said, this won't be the last person with daft bigoted views that she ever meets. From what you have said it is very doubtful that your daughter will take this woman's words at face value. I'm not getting the strong impression from your op that this woman is the best person to make a connection with a class of 10 year olds.

To use a biblical reference, I think she might find herself rather thrown into the lion's den.

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