Separation between Religion and Schools

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by mephistopheles, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. mephistopheles

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    I'm a high school student in SW Missouri. I currently attend Webb City High School, and I like it, for the most part.

    Today was a Red day:

    R1 - Art Appreciation Prehistoric-1500s
    R2 - Theatre III
    R3 - Entertainment Tech
    R4 - Music Theory

    Everything seemed to be going really well today, I had first hour with one of my friends, Ray, and 2nd hour made my day all the better. We're working dramatic monologues(plus I sit next to this really cute girl!) And then Third hour I had Mr. Holt for Entertainment tech, and then fourth hour I had him again for Music Theory. Between the third and fourth hours I went to the counselor. I came into fourth hour, but I had a pass. So I sit my stuff down and approach Mr. Holt who is, with the other 7 people in the class, located at the board at the front of the room. I ask him simply what I had missed and he told me to grab a notebook paper and the music book he had placed in my seat. He did this in a very civil manor so I complied. Dread washed over me when I saw what he had supplied me with... "Baptist Hymnal"... Oh my... Maybe its not that bad I say to myself as I pick up the tattered book. I flip through the pages and every other word is "Jesus Christ" or "My Savior"... Some of you may think it's petty but my religion is something very important to me... So I close the book and approach him. Mr Holt, I can't work out of this I tell him in the nicest possible way, trying not to come off as someone just trying to get out of work(becuase I'm not, I enjoy musc) He looks at me, mouth agape, dumbfounded. The next thing he does is laugh... He scoffs at me... Laugh if you must, I can'ty work out of this, I'm sorry. Again I'm being as nice as humanly possible. I'm not laughing He tells me as he covers a chuckel in his throat with a cough...

    This is an outrage to me, I can't believe he is allowed to teach with this. Thats like letting teachers use the bible to teach an average science class, in place of evolution we have god creating everything...

    I know some of you believe this, you can believe whatever you want, I'm not saying you can't this is american, you can practice whatever religion you want. I plan on going to the counselors office tomorrow to complain about Mr. Holt. It's just not something that should be happening in the school system.

    I know I will get flamed or mocked or insulted for this post, and I really don't care.

    Thanks,

    Josh Dodson
     
  2. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    I think you are quite right to stand up for what you believe in. It's sounds like you handled it maturely and politely. I don't see how anyone can have a problem with that.
     
  3. Lex

    Lex
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    As a former school administrator, I can tell you that those textbooks are problematic. Separation of church and state is especially crucial in places where there can be inferred a "coercive effect." Case law has held that positioning texts, speeches, etc. that contain religious references such as what you describe in front of school aged students constitutes this "coercive effect."

    The other thing we know is that many mid-western and southern jurisidictions have to followed the letter of the law as those areas have a deeply religious populace who see no problem with the textbook/materials, even if the constitution and countless court rulings do.

    Damn.
     
  4. joyboytoy79

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    You, sir, have done nothing wrong. Be you jewish, wiccan, muslim, buddist, taoist, hindu or confucianist, you should not be subjected to bible thumping in schools. It is one thing to refer to music that has religious themes, but quite a different thing to refer to music out of a religious text. Hymnals belong in churches and homes, not in schools. I'm quite certain if you brought a "50 cent" songbook into Mr. Holt's sundy school room he would be appalled! This is exactly the same situation, only in reverse.
     
  5. D_Sheffield Thongbynder

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    Highly unlikely. You handled the situation well and within your rights as student.
     
  6. mephistopheles

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    Thanks for all your words, now I know I as in the right.

    I figure I would get flamed with something like "it's just a book", or something like that. I guess I'm still just a little on the defense.
     
  7. Gillette

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    Agreed.

    What I'd like to know is if you will be required to sing these hymns or if the focus will be solely on the music. If the focus is on the music alone you might be allowed to purchase a copy for yourself and black out the words if you chose.

    If the words to the hymns are going to be part of the program perhaps you could ask to have another assignment given to you to substitute for this current one.

    I hope this can be resolved to your satisfaction.
    Good luck.
     
  8. hot-rod

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    Moses was smokin, and he obviously inhaled
     
  9. diego

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    I know waht you mean, i studied all my life in a catolic school even i am agnostic. I used to sing thats songs, go to the church, listening all that bullshit. When i was senior i started to say what i really think. They called my parents and i was punished because that (my parents are catolics), but i didn't care i continued to discuss about religion on school. Sometimes they called me The anticrist lol. I just don't admit the dumbness that religion forces(make obligation) people believe.
     
  10. Mr. Snakey

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    Be carefull you might learn something:wink:
     
  11. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Study science and you'll find that there are some things that you'll have to learn which will make your asshole pucker. The same goes for astronomy, literature or even accounting.

    Philosophy? Don't even consider walking into the classroom if you're thinskinned.

    As for music, if you're not willing to open yourself to all kinds of interpretation, style and subjects, you're going to have a very limited exposure and therefore a very limited 'feel' for it.

    I'm a Christian, mephistopheles, yet if I hadn't studied Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc., I feel I would be ignorant indeed, let alone intolerant and prideful.

    Perhaps you should rethink your position. School isn't supposed to teach you only what you want to hear, is it?
     
  12. Mr. Snakey

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    Well said Pecker You are amazing:cool:
     
  13. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Whilst I agree with everything you say Pecker if he feels that a religious text is being used inappropriately for a particular purpose IMO he is within his rights to refuse to participate.
     
  14. joyboytoy79

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    While i don't entirely dissagree with your stance, there are the right settings for such teachings. I don't think it's right to introduce a book of hymnals into a public school. In a collegiate setting, under the header of "music in religion" it would be different. But not in a public high school. The context is just too intimidating. Better for him to study the music on his own if he has interest in it, than force it on him in a school settign (again, the word "coercion" comes to mind).
     
  15. Gillette

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    If it is just the music, so be it. Music has no religion, regardless of how much organ you hear.

    The lyrics are a whole other ball of wax.
     
  16. Lex

    Lex
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    This is a messy case. A cleaner situation would be a unit on religious music (within a Music Theory and/or Music History course) that contained several types of songs/hyms, etc. The entire book being a Bapstist Hymnal is, to me, the problem here. Not the learning of the particular song or type of music, but rather, the text.

    Religion can be discussed and taught in schools as a social and historical phenomenon (The Crusades, Manifest Destiny, Poly- vs. Monothesism). It's can't appear to be being preached or forced. Having a denominational book of hymns does that, I think.
     
  17. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I was under the impression that Religion was banned from schools, other than in discussion during history or if it applied elsewhere.

    I am a bit torn here.

    On the one hand, I have a huge respect for all kinds of music. Hymns and other religious chants were the basis of music. Without them, I am not sure what music would be.

    On the other hand, people shouldn't have to be forced to do something if they have a problem with it.

    Since it is a music class, I think that it is ok, provided you are in a music history class, and will cover other genres. If this class is going to be STRICTLY Religion, you may want to look over the class syllabus.

    Best of luck.

    EDIT@@@~Damn it lex... You beat me to it.
     
  18. Mr. Snakey

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    What Pecker is saying is have an open mind. I think he means learn all you can Learn all the religions. Learn about people who dont believe in anything But learn:cool:
     
  19. hot-rod

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    Hey Pecker, read your responses everyday and I think you to be rather smart, fair, and intellegent????. Just kidding! I'm really proud to have found this group of people on this website and I wish that I could know most of you personlly. Anywho, I think I have a few good ideas for Threads but I don't know how to do it or go about having one started. Can anyone tell me how to do it or have it done? Would certainly appreciate the help.Thanks
     
  20. Lex

    Lex
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    I agree with what Pecker says about experiencing other faiths and ideas.

    I am discussing the legal ramifications of this book used in school as a text book. We have some very specific case law around religion, schools, religious expression, students, teachers, etc. I think that this school (school system) could be in trouble if the right parents/lawyers/agencies got involved.
     
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