One of the overwhelming reasons not to have SRI in our schools is that it sharpens the religious distinctions between children. It makes these a matter of institutional policy and official segregation. These differences are bound to arise naturally, but the fact is that SRI makes sure that they do – it makes sure that children whose parents object to putting their children in a church run program have a sign hung around their neck – here is a story that one mum sent in today about her son. The thing that really jumps out at me from reading this is that the child who asks the boy to steal isn’t so much concerned about stealing, as they are with not being the one stealing – it seems that there is an interesting moral lesson here. THOU SHALT NOT STEAL, but if someone else STEALETH on your behalf well then that isn’t your problem, is it?
Dear people at FIRIS.
This is a fresh anecdote I would like to share with you all.
My son attends (a primary school in Victoria).
He has never taken RE classes. Nor did his brother.
My son is currently in 6th grade. The school knows our position very well. We have repeatedly complained about religion being pushed onto children (not only during RE instruction) which made a mockery of our choice of a secular education.
Anyway, yesterday one child (P) needed a pencil, but the locker from which the children usually get this material was locked. P could only get a pencil from a prohibited location . So he asked my son:
“Hey, X, you… because you have no morals, could you get me a pencil from there?”
My son was astonished….especially because P uttered this request with no malice whatsoever, he stated it as a matter of fact!!
My son answered “I do have morals, and I will not steal the pencil for you.”
I don’t know the source of P’s presumptions about the lack of morals of my son. I can only speculate….But I can state the facts:
* P comes from an extremely religious family.
*P goes to church every week.
*P has always attended RE classes.
*P is extremely concerned with god. He prays and crosses himself before every exam, race…before any challenging event. He states that god watches everything he does.
*P is not affected by any psychiatric or develpmental condition.. He is a healthy, 11.5 year-old child. He is not intellectually impaired.
*P and his family know that my son does not attend RE classes and that he does not take part in the preparation of the Christmas concert, nor does he sing any song with religious content.
Well…these are the facts!
Thanks for reading this story.