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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:
BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:24

@Puzzledandpissedoff - why can I not talk to his perfectly delightful teacher about my concerns?!

OP posts:
Purpleartichoke · 09/10/2018 13:24

This is how religion works. It is the point of religious schools. They want access to impressionable young minds to create more followers.

RomanyRoots · 09/10/2018 13:24

No, my child isn't christened. I want him to be able to choose his involvement in a religion of his choice when he is old enough to do this with a full understanding, not join him to a religion when he is too young to make his mind up!

So you did expect a different rule for you, entitled or what.
Good luck speaking to the teacher OP

I can't believe somebody is really that dense, duh!

Frogscotch7 · 09/10/2018 13:25

@SillySallySingsSongs there was a poster who literally said she could be nasty to the OP and then go to confession. I wasn’t referring to anyone else!

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:25

@RomanyRoots - no, I was just going to chat to her about why I had refused to allow him to go?
I'm not asking anyone to change rules?

OP posts:
spacefighter · 09/10/2018 13:26

Because the children are getting older and able to understand more! Parents like you boil my blood why send your children to a faith school if you don't like they are learning about religion. A very dumb move on your part!

JeanPagett · 09/10/2018 13:27

But if you're not expecting the teacher to do anything about it or make any changes OP then what exactly is the point of speaking to her?

PositiveVibez · 09/10/2018 13:27

No way would I send my child to a Catholic school.

MyBrexitGoesOnHoliday · 09/10/2018 13:27

The thing is, if this is THE one school that works for her child do to some SN, I ca see why the OP would have chosen that one. She tried to get the best school for her dc, something we all try and do as parent.

OP you are mentioning your dc been naive in some ways. One ah you ca;help is by telling them other stories, teaching him that there are other ways to see the world that what the school is teaching him.
And yes I wouod ask for him to be taken out of the big ‘workshop’ or visits that are here to prepare for the Forst Communion.
It’s nit unusual for Catholic School to have children form all faith. I doubt he will be the only one.

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:27

@spacefighter - as I said, I've had no problem up until now but the levels of information have ramped up massively and yes, it makes me uncomfortable right now. I asked for opinions and I have been given them!

OP posts:
Puzzledandpissedoff · 09/10/2018 13:30

why can I not talk to his perfectly delightful teacher about my concerns?!

Absolutely no reason at all - I don't think I said you couldn't?

As mentioned upthread I don't pretend to speak for all such places, but the attitude of our local catholic state Hmm school to any questioning at all is unwelcoming in the extreme. Hopefully yours will be better, but anyway that's why I said "good luck with that"

SunburstsOrMarbleHalls · 09/10/2018 13:31

Your son attends a catholic faith school and their whole ethos will be based around this faith. You are right with the assertion that as the school are probably helping to prepare a lot of their catholic students the same age as your son to take their first holy communion in the near future it will have mean that faith is taking a more active role in school life.

Many non catholic children attend catholic schools and while they may never "convert" it is usual for them to be encouraged to embrace and understand elements of Catholicism and its teachings.

As you have voluntarily and knowingly enrolled your son in a private faith school I don't think it is unreasonable for the school to expect students to engage in a degree of participation with things such as church visits. Your son might begin to feel excluded if you stop him attending and he doesn't have to be Catholic to enjoy these trips with his school friends especially at times such as Christmas.

There is usually some form of partnership with a catholic faith school and the local Diocese so I would imagine that the Catholic values will continue to be an important part of this schools focus throughout each year group.

If this is unacceptable to you then maybe you should consider putting your son on the waiting list of the other oversubscribed non faith private schools or move him to a non faith state primary.

MyBrexitGoesOnHoliday · 09/10/2018 13:31

People are eating more and more obtuse in MN, just hearing what they wan to hear.
This thread is a good example of it...

Jean the OP wants to talk to the teacher so she knows the reasons of her withdrawing her ds. Not because she wants the teacher to change everything for everyone.
It will also give the teacher some head ups that she will refuse for each of the other ‘outings’ or religious activity to prepare for the Forst Communion.
I can’t see any issue with that??

Fwiw in any other public school, religion is still forced into children. Its the Church of England one but same principle apply.
Nativity seven at Christmas, religious sings at assemblies, work around the specific religious event (Easter etc etc). Religion is preset a lot of the time in primary.
Amd parents are asking to take their dc out.
Imo it’s not different.

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:31

@MyBrexitGoesOnHoliday you have it exactly!
The school works for him on many many levels and we were very limited with our choices not least because one of the private schools we applied for took bloody ages to let us know they wouldn't accept him but that's a whole different story and as I've already said, state school wasn't an option as he can't cope in big groups.
I like a lot of the ethos, I just don't want to feel he's being brainwashed which hasn't happened up until now.
I will look at other schools that aren't religious when he moves to senior school.

OP posts:
ElspethFlashman · 09/10/2018 13:31

His school do visits to other religious sites later in school

As in other religious sites of other religions?

Are you going to deny permission for that too?

Mijkl · 09/10/2018 13:32

I don't think YABU. We are looking at some private schools at the moment, one of them is Catholic but they say very clearly that they welcome all faiths and none, and plenty (if not the majority) of the children there are of other religions. Indeed I would say they actively encourage non-Catholics to come to their school, because if they only accepted Catholics they would be bankrupt in short order - there just aren't enough Catholic kids in our area to fill the school's places! From our point of view, we would not be prejudiced against a school just because it has a Catholic foundation, we would look at the whole educational experience that it offers. However, we noticed there are around 2.5 hours of education in Catholic doctrine (not comparative religion) on the timetable, and for us this is too much, and has put it further down the list of 'preferred schools' for us (pity, because it's lovely in every other way). If you have the choice to opt out, why shouldn't you?

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:34

@MyBrexitGoesOnHoliday thank you for understanding so well, I was beginning to think I was typing in a different language, reading some of the replies and massive presumptions from some posters!

I totally accept that I AIBU and that is why I want to talk to his teacher - not because I expect anyone to change their rules or views. I communicate with her often as we keep in contact re my DS's behaviour etc. I might even ask her opinion!!!

OP posts:
Fink · 09/10/2018 13:34

I reiterate my point that they are definitely not trying to convert your son.

But you still seem to be misunderstanding what a Catholic education is despite several explanations upthread. It doesn't matter, in the big scheme of things, whether you understand what Catholics believe about the Eucharist (and that the cannibalism thing your son came out with has been used for centuries as an actual theological point), what matters is that you understand what a Catholic ethos in a school means. It means, if the school is any good, that the Catholic faith will inform every aspect of the school's life and outlook. Not so much the curriculum RE, where, in fact, the children will learn about other faiths as well, but in the way that we view the world, each other, ourselves ... this is the reason why some parents will have chosen the school for their children, because it provides a holistic education in accordance with their faith. And other parents will not have specifically chosen it for that reason, but will at least be aware that this is the mission of the school and will be ok with it. What worries me is that you've sent your son to a Catholic school but you don't seem to realise that the very reason it exists is to provide a Catholic education, which by definition is different from a secular education. If a Catholic education is not what you want, then no amount of nice teachers, small class sizes, settled friendship group etc. are going to overcome that fact.

FlyingMonkeys · 09/10/2018 13:35

So half the kids in the class won't be having FHC, the school is offering more inclusive trips surrounding alternative religions later on, and you're happy with all of this. But not happy that they're 'ramping it up with a Catholic church visit ahead of FHC for 50% of the kids to presumably make them aware of it'? So are the 50% of the class who are not having FHC attending the church visit or not? Will you be be excluding your child from all the trips or just the one involving Catholicism?

5foot5 · 09/10/2018 13:35

My DD went to Catholic primary and secondary. In each case there were a fair number of non-Catholic children and the view was "That's fine but they must accept the Catholic ethos of the school". I don't think anyone was expected to convert but when there was a school mass everybody was expected to attend.

When they were preparing for first communion there were a lot of special lessons and for these the class was split in to those preparing and those who were not. The ones who were not were still taught about the subject but were obviously not expected to participate in any of the ceremonies. However, when it was all done and dusted the school threw a celebration party for the whole class, not just the ones who had done the first communion, which I thought was nice.

When it came to confirmation this seemed to have much less participation and even many of the catholic pupils did not take part.

Mijkl · 09/10/2018 13:35

At my CofE school, Jewish children used to opt out of the assembly (which was mildly religious in the 'bread of heaven' type way). No-one was at all bothered.

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:35

@ElspethFlashman - honestly? I don't know. Maybe not.....depends how much they're over-egging the pudding. And that's my truthful answer.

OP posts:
MyBrexitGoesOnHoliday · 09/10/2018 13:36

There are no faith schools in the U.K.
All public school are church if England schools where that particular religion is ever present.
if you think these are non faith school, then you’ve never been in a real non faith school where you wouod nit sing religious hymns every week at assembly for example. (One small example amongst a lot of other ones).

That’s coming from the fact that there is no separation between the state and the Church in the U.K.

IamDrWho · 09/10/2018 13:36

YABU - it is a catholic school

shakeyourcaboose · 09/10/2018 13:37

@fink you are absolutely right! It exists is to provide a Catholic education, which by definition is different from a secular education. If a Catholic education is not what you want, then no amount of nice teachers, small class sizes, settled friendship group etc. are going to overcome that fact.

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