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← Am I over-reacting?

rationalmind's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by rationalmind

No I don't think you are over reacting at all. Perhaps for those who are not from the UK I should recount my own fairly typical experiences in a normal non-faith UK state primary school. This is up to the age of 11. We call the ordinary schools which are free and paid from taxes "state schools" "Public schools" are ones you pay to attend. I know it sounds backwards, but these were once the only schools that any rich member of the public could use.

There would be assembly in the school hall first thing in the morning. There would be prayers and hymn singing and perhaps a talk from the headmaster. This wasn't at all a religious talk. The law mandates a "collective act of worship," so they pay lip service to it. At the end of the day we would put our chairs up on the tables and put our hands together close our eyes whilst the teacher spoke some prayer or other.

However, it really was lip service. I never ever heard a teacher expressing religious ideas outside that context. I now my old primary school doesn't do the morning assembly for everyone now. They have added extra classrooms and there isn't enough room for all the kids to get into the hall.

Incidentally I was never a believer during this period. I had decided it didn't make sense to me at an early age, but I never actually felt that school was indoctrinating me. I would have had a strong reaction against that. Even as a child.

What the incident here is describing is kids being sent away to an overtly religious institution for a while. This is very very different and you are right to be concerned. Make a fuss about not being properly informed!

I would actually check it out. There are faithheads who are teachers. I am told the headmistress of a local primary near me is actually a real evolution denying creationist. One of the mothers complained to me about her. These deluded people are quite rare in the UK.

Fri, 11 May 2012 18:22:50 UTC | #941060