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My twin daughters were opted out of Bible Studies throughout their primary school years at their school. In their final year, they were forced to attend the classes whenever the teacher supervising the opt-out children was unavailable. They were instructed to research the birth of Christ and the Christmas story, […].. read more
When I opted my kid out their teacher tried to tell me it was the same as opting out of maths or English 😒 no, it’s really not
River (An experience in 2019)
The state school my kids started at had a series of old people who came in to teach/terrify/confuse the younger classes. Back then there was no opt out option.
On Thursday, before Easter, after school my 7 year old was a crying mess and wanted us to stop the Jews killing Jesus tomorrow… finally found out that their easter lesson was gruesome and not age appropriate. I was so angry with the school not supervising the lay teachers on this..
Weirdly enough, we took the kids all out of state school and they went through Catholic school with no problems at all.
Lyn (An experience in 1983)
I had “religious education” in my secular public school as a child, which would have been cool if we’d learned about different religions and beliefs. Nope, what we received was Christian indoctrination – we prayed and sang hymns and were taught the bible as though it was history. I was so confused because adults were telling me that these random fairy stories were true. There is no place in secular education for this.
Milly (An experience in 1999-2007)
As a child my school offered religious education and my parents opted out. I had to sit in a corridor for over an hour each Friday morning. On several occasions, the RE ‘teachers’ sent my friends to get me, with promises of lollies and pleas that they needed help with the singing to encourage me to join in against my parents’ wishes. Indoctrination pure and simple. I wonder what values they thought they were teaching?!
Leith (An experience in 1987-1990)
My child was at a school where the bible session was optional, but when I said he was not religious, and he wasn’t to go I was told he had to as there was no one to supervise him. I offered and after 6 weeks I had 20 children in the library with me of 130.
I cried myself to sleep for a year, thanks to a Bible in schools teacher telling my class that we were basically all going to burn to death. Not great for anxious kids… and not even great for Christianity’s goals.
When our daughter was 6 we had to allay her fears that Mummy and Daddy would be going to hell because we don’t believe in Jesus…. I was so angry, we opted her out the next day… what kind of values is that? Scaring little children.
We often hear in church about the 10-40 window for evangelising people in the world. For me it’s a 9 to 3 window.
They definitely taught us about Hell when I did it in primary school. They said that we would burn in fire unless we were saved by Jesus.
My son would come home very upset that he was put back into the classes despite them knowing I had opted him out.
My son used to come home and check behind every door to make sure God wasn’t hiding there. He was terrified of God.
My daughter came home, asking if I would be going to hell and if she had to as well. I would far rather, given our changing society, to have my children taught about different religions, tolerance, to ask questions without fear of reprisal or judgement, and to gain an appreciation for other cultures and beliefs, than the current state of affairs.
My 8-year-old was too scared to go to sleep. He had been a bit naughty and thought he was going to die and burn in the fiery hell.
It was a member of her church who saw nothing wrong with teaching my then 5-year-olds class all about hell alongside ‘but if you believe in God you get to go to heaven.
In my 5-year-old’s class, pick up sticks were thrown over the floor and the kids were asked to pick them up. When they were finished, the instructor looked up and said “Good job kids. The reason we did this was to learn that, girls, if we work really hard we will get a good husband.” She turned to me and said, “Isn’t that right!”
I’d get in trouble with a lot of my fellow Christian ministers, but in schools, we don’t need Christian religious education, we need people to be literate about the religions that are in New Zealand.