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Denying consent for religious visits

257 replies

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 11:23

My son goes to a fantastic private school, which is catholic but we aren't catholic....
Since he entered year 7, I feel they have really started to push Catholicism onto my child. I have just refused consent for him to attend the local catholic church on a visit next week because I feel they are trying to convert him and he knows enough for year 3 from what they tell him at school.
We knew the school was catholic when we sent him there but didn't realise quite how much they were going to push it.....

OP posts:

Gersemi · 09/10/2018 12:36

My DD went to a Catholic school for similar reasons to your son - it was a small, nurturing school and she was extremely shy. The school made their Catholic nature very clear, and made it clear that there would be no opting out. When one or two parents tried to withdraw their children from Masses or church visits, they were simply reminded that that was what they had signed up to.

DD came out of the school no more RC than she was when she went in, but with a good knowledge of RC principles that came in quite useful for things like Tudor and Stuart History.


BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 12:36

He has been there since year 1, and it has been a fantastic school so far. I do think the FHC prep has ramped it up massively.
I understand that he will get the catholic stuff every day, and I LIKE the fact that it's a good moral compass etc but right now, it feels excessive.
I don't want to move him because he's really settled and has a fab teacher and a nice group of friends. This is hugely important to me and the fact that he doesn't deal with change we'll also plays a big part.
I just wanted people's opinions of not allowing him to participate in the trip because I'm actually quite torn about it and wanted to hear different points of view.

OP posts:

AvantFunk · 09/10/2018 12:38

this is a normal part of going to catholic school, they aren't trying to convert him, this is just what they do.

Yes, it is what they do, but obviously they are trying to "convert" him. That's kind of the whole point.


basquiat · 09/10/2018 12:40

I don't think it's a huge deal. Just remind him when he gets home that it's a load of nonsense.


RhythmStix · 09/10/2018 12:40

You don't know what you want OP. You say the school is 'fantastic' and you like his teacher and friends. Count yourself - and your ds - lucky Hmm.


greendale17 · 09/10/2018 12:41

He is the one that misses out if you say no. Just remember that.


flumpybear · 09/10/2018 12:41

Religion, other than taught as theory only, not fact, has literally ZERO place in schools and should all be banned - schooling should only teach things that are correct, no bloody worship nonsense either 🙄

It's a bit more tricky as it's a private school, you've literally bought into it, you've accepted it by choosing them and paying them money.

Personally I'd have my kids out of there. Religious schools just indoctrinate little minds who don't have the ability to chose what they're doing. I'd leave


SalemBlackCat4 · 09/10/2018 12:42

What is FHC?


LurkingWaspi · 09/10/2018 12:42

Religious schools do religion. It's on page one of their t and c's.


Puzzledandpissedoff · 09/10/2018 12:43

I just wanted people's opinions of not allowing him to participate in the trip ...

Thing is, though, it won't just be about the trip will it? It's the trip this time, but in such a school it will soon be something else and then yet another thing as he moves through the school

And I'm not quite sure why some PPs are saying "why would they want to convert him?" I can't speak for others, but at least round here there's a huge amount of praise from the church when the local priest does exactly that


Puzzledandpissedoff · 09/10/2018 12:44

FHC = first holy communion, salem


LibraryLurker · 09/10/2018 12:44

If it was a visit to a museum would you refuse? So see it in the same context, talk about it with him in the same way. If the school are in full throws of FHC prep he may already be feeling a bit left out of things. Lets be honest 7 -8 year old kids usually love dressing up and having a special celebration party, his friends must be talking about it, he's already not part of that activity why isolate him even more


Wildheartsease · 09/10/2018 12:44

You are paying for a Catholic education and that is what you are getting. YABU.

On your fear that they are indoctrinating him (rather than just teaching him their doctrine) , keep in mind that for something like this to work in the long term, opposition is required. You are providing the opposition and making Catholic churches seem like forbidden treats.


LurkingWaspi · 09/10/2018 12:44

FHC = First Holy Communion (I reckon)


saoirse31 · 09/10/2018 12:44

Why would you want to exclude him from trip, which his friends are going on? Makes no sense. You chose the school, let him enjoy it and not be made to feel he's missing out on stuff.


Jakethekid · 09/10/2018 12:44

I went to a Catholic primary, secondary and college. My primary school didn't accept anyone that wasn't christened as obviously we would all be doing holy communion and first confirmation etc. I'm guessing your child isn't christened?

The majority (if not all) of his class mates will be participating in these ceremonies so he will feel singled out regardless. I wouldn't send my child to a Catholic school of I didn't agree with it though.


Chesterfieldsofa · 09/10/2018 12:45

You remind me of a mother at school who'd looked around a Catholic school and was horrified by a crucifix scene on the wall, said it was inappropriate...


veggiethrower · 09/10/2018 12:45

What are you going to do about First Holy Communion? That takes place in Year 3 - this will be why they are "ramping up" the religious aspect.
They are not trying to convert him. They are providing a Catholic education for Catholic children who are attending their Catholic school. He just happens not to be Catholic.
I've taught in several Catholic schools are there were often non-Catholic children there - either of other faiths or none - and they got along just fine. I don't recall any child converting to Catholicism (though they may have done later in life).
A priest I know is often asked by Catholic parents "What should I do to make sure my child remains in the faith when they are older?" and he replies "Don't send them to Catholic school."
I am a Catholic and didn't go to Catholic school (am very thankful for that but I won't go into the reasons here) and I am the only one of my generation in our large, extended Catholic family who has remained Catholic. Everyone else has lapsed - and they all went to Catholic school. They ended up hating everything to do with.
So I wouldn't worry too much.....

You've had a bit of a rough time on this thread. You misjudged how much religion would be involved (and in state Catholic schools 20% of teaching hours is supposed to be dedicated to RE!!!!).
If you are not happy about this you should make an appointment to discuss your concerns with the headteacher - I think you will need to do this with regard to the First Holy Communion anyway if you do not want him to make his FHC.
However, they won't be changing their ethos to accommodate you any time soon. You may find it helpful to look at the RE scheme of work for example - which, when I last taught 10 years ago, - was quite woolly in that it talked about loving your neighbour and being kind and talked about the Mass as a shared meal rather than taking a hardline on various issues and preaching transubstantiation etc.
In all honesty, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If the school is ideal for him in other respects would you really want to move him?

Go in to the school, with an open mind, explain your worries and listen to what they have to say.


SalemBlackCat4 · 09/10/2018 12:46

If the trip is just to the local Catholic church, it will probably be boring, I would be more worried about the concentrated religion he gets from day to day at the school.

I would let him go if he wants to go, I also think if he doesn't go, it will set him apart and maybe his classmates might ask him why he didn't go. If you are a shy person or have SN let alone both, that is the last thing you want, to be seen as 'other' and possibly set him up for bullying.


lovetherisingsun · 09/10/2018 12:46

I went to a CofE school. I wasn't raised religious, and my dad taught me basic world facts etc at home. The local church would try and brainwash us with crazy untrue "facts" (eg, one Easter service the vicar asked if anyone knew what stars were, I repeated what my dad had told me about burning balls of gas etc, without really understanding it but just repeating what he'd said/showed me in the kids encyclopedia, the vicar MOCKED me with a little laugh and "oh dear, what ARE your teachers telling you? No, stars are all made by God"), which then gave me the choice of questioning my parents about it after at home. Which then led on to good basic discussions about what different people believe in, what is true fact etc, and was a good learning opportunity (about the bollocks some religions can spout). I'd personally let my kids go on the trip, and talk to them about it afterwards, discuss what was said, ask your kid what they think etc.

My young boy goes to an afterschool club run by the local church, he came out the other day saying "even that building is made by God mum! And the road! God makes everything!", which annoyed me a bit but I asked him questions and we used it as a talking point and I got to find out what he really thought about it.


speakingwoman · 09/10/2018 12:47

Would you like to read some extracts from the anti-masturbation essays I wrote in Catholic school at the age of 12 by the way?

the trip will be the least indoctrinating thing he does this term. yabu.


Clandestino · 09/10/2018 12:48

When it comes to Holy Communion - my daughter didn't do it as she isn't baptised but she participated at all activities around it, except for practising for ceremony for which she got some extra math stuff to do instead - mind you considering she loves maths, she enjoyed herself.
But they did a family tree with photographs and talked about how much they love their family etc. and that was really beautiful and she loved it. She also came incensed from the Church when the older priest started talking about atheists going to hell - considering she doesn't believe in hell, she was rather cool about it but it was a good occasion to talk about tolerance and respect.
As most of her friends were mostly only in it for the parties and party money, we had a trip to Rome instead so the next week when they talked about the fun they had during the weekend, she was all excited about her visit to Vatican on that day and even brought her friends some rose scented rosaries.


diddl · 09/10/2018 12:48

Would you feel happier if he wasn't to use your word so "gullible" & you could convince him just to write it off as a load of old tosh?


Billben · 09/10/2018 12:48

I don't want to move him because he's really settled and has a fab teacher and a nice group of friends. This is hugely important to me and the fact that he doesn't deal with change we'll also plays a big part.

Then you need to suck it up cos YABU. Also, you are not helping him when you refuse him to visit places with the school. It isn’t just going to be a couple of hours of wasting time looking around in a church. I’m sure they will incorporate the visit into lessons and your son won’t be able to join in.
And as for them trying to convert him😂

he knows enough for year 3 from what they tell him at school.

What a sad thing to say. You can never know enough about a subject.


explodingkitten · 09/10/2018 12:48

You should let him participate in the same stuff as his friends.

I went to a greek orthodox school, a protestant one and a catholic secondary. My parents were protestant christians. Now that I'm grown up I believe in reincarnaton with a dose of spiritism. So go figure how much lasting influences the school and parents had.

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