Advice for the Pagan parent: can you help?

A friend of mine came to me with a problem.  Eir high-school-ish-age child was told by a teacher that “anything outside of the Abrahamic faiths is NOT a religion.”  The child “did call the teacher on it, but got shut down in class.”

I found some great resources that dance around the problem, like this piece on advocating for Pagan children in school and an essay educating teachers about Paganism (which is far from perfect, but as my friend’s family is the sort of Pagan described, was perfectly appropriate).  I recommended assuming that ignorance does not equal hatred, but that creating a written trail while approaching the teacher and administrators would be a good idea in case outside advocacy is necessary.

I also turned to my amazing wife, who lives in both of those worlds, and she was flabbergasted, asking, “Has the teacher given a definition of religion beyond this narrow statement?”  She turned up some ideas on what religion is and pointed out that academics include non-Abrahamic faiths among world religions, as well as saying, “I’d go straight to the ACLU.  They eat stuff like this for breakfast.”

So now I invoke the power of crowdsourcing:  what advice would you give my friend, and why?

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3 thoughts on “Advice for the Pagan parent: can you help?

  1. It is a waste of time to try and ‘reason’ with someone that ignorant. She humiliated that child, which is unacceptable for any teacher. She needs to be slammed and slammed hard. She needs to be forced to issue a public apology in which she admits that she was wrong and either be made to leave or put on administrative probation with that on her record in case she tries to do this again. My family is from an unpopular fringe Christian group and as a child I was even threatened by Teachers with expulsion because I would not do the pledge of allegiance because I was taught loyalty to God not to Governments. If your friend does not bring in the ACLU and put the fear of the Gods into that school, believe me they will do nothing.

    Of she’s lucky, if not, they will encourage persecution if that child. They must be scared straight. If not, they will let this continue. Believe me, I know. I lived it for years. And the worst part was when they pressured my little sister in Kindergarten.

    The other kids even told my sister God was sad because she wouldn’t salute the Flag. This is just as bad if not worse. This person had the gaul to attack a child’s faith. If she backs down now, that will send a message to the child and the other children that they can be abused at any time and Gods forbid the bullies in that school will nos think that it’s okay to attack her based on her religion because the adults will do nothing. Tell her to suit up for war.

    And the least she can do is bring this up to the Principle with her family, and ask for this woman to do a public apology in the class and for this to be on her record.

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  2. I’m in agreement with Jose. The worst thing that family could do is be silent…nothing changes when that happens. It also sends the message to all the other students that the teacher must have been right if nothing bad happened to her, and they will likely grow up with that belief.

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