Private schools be damned!

One of the most contemptible stunts American conservatives have pulled over the past several decades is attempting to undermine the public school systems in the various states of the USA (which are expected to be open to and educate ALL children) and promote private schools which are designed to teach members of one specific religion. The results can be places of brainwashing instead of genuine education. Instead of merely teaching ABOUT religions, they often indoctrinate children with lies to justify religious bigotry.

This was shown clearly to me by this comment on another blog:
http://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/01/12/no-my-diversity-doesnt-have-to-include-your-bigotry/#comment-189808

I spent first through fourth grades in a Roman Catholic private school. We were taught that the only people who were Christians and who were going to Heaven were Roman Catholics. Everyone else was damned. No one else believed in God.

The summer between fourth and fifth grades my parents bought a house and I was told I would be going to the public school. I was terrified because I was going to be associating with the damned.

On the very first day of fifth grade I had a crisis of faith because how did the school day start? One of the kids stood up in front of the classroom and read five verses from the Psalms. In four years of school at a RC private school, we never once read from the Bible.

In my public school there were Jews who believed in God, Methodists who believed in God, Presbyterians who believed in God, black people who believed in God, Asians who believed in God…

That was the beginning of my leave-taking from the Roman Catholic Church because those lay teachers, nuns, and priests had lied to me.

I find it hard to believe that the Roman Catholic Church would deny the Christianity of Protestants, of Eastern Orthodox believers, or of others. Then again, it is common for conservative Protestants to claim that Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, or even Seventh Day Adventists are not true Christians, but are “cults” instead. But from a Jewish perspective, Christianity clearly began as a cult breaking away from orthodox Judaism. A cult is merely a dogmatic religion that has not (yet) gotten very popular.

Which is why I said elsewhere, “It is easy to assume you have the only true faith when you have only that one faith in your community and do not know followers of other religions except through crude stereotypes. Once you get to know those followers as people, those stereotypes tend to break down. Exposure to those people breeds tolerance quite naturally.”

In places like Saudi Arabia, only Islam is tolerated and it is therefore like a cult there. In some other countries of South and Central America, Roman Catholicism may be the cult. In parts of Israel, Hasidic Judaism may be the cult. When the state directly supports ANY religion and excludes all others, the religion no longer becomes a healthy means of support for the community and instead becomes an instrument of oppression and thus EVIL!

Weren’t Christians persecuted by Romans before they came to dominate the Roman Empire later? Wasn’t the Prophet Muhammad and his first followers persecuted by their pagan neighbors? Weren’t the Puritans persecuted by the Anglicans before leaving England to found the colony of Massachusettes….only to oppress others who were not Puritans, even killing some suspected of being witches? And don’t get me started on Israel’s Jewish dominated government and its bigotry against Arabs and Muslims!

These things happened because people did not fight for religious FREEDOM for all, but only for the right of their own specific religion to take over and rule the society. And that is evil. Equating any religion with exclusive goodness and truth is to lie to people. Goodness and truth can only be determined by how it actually affects real people in the present time; it does not matter in the slightest what scriptures said in the past, because we are not living in the past!

We need to stop the lies in the USA, in the Middle East, and elsewhere in the world. We have to oppose and condemn private schools that are designed for one specific religion so that all children can be exposed to as much truth as possible.

Quite simply, I do not want children being taught only religious bullshit like what is recorded on these earlier blog entries without some sort of response from non-believers:

https://dalehusband.com/2011/03/09/insulting-and-libeling-unbelievers/

https://dalehusband.com/2009/10/12/lying-about-history-for-the-bible/

https://dalehusband.com/2017/03/12/lying-about-history-for-the-bible-round-2/

https://dalehusband.com/2010/09/14/the-book-of-mormon-is-a-p-o-s/

https://dalehusband.com/2011/01/05/how-to-lie-to-children-about-evolution/

https://dalehusband.com/2010/08/20/the-prophet-isaiah-did-not-predict-the-coming-of-jesus/

And it is not just religion I worry about. What if private schools teach nonsense like that from the “Health Ranger” Mike Adams and insist everything he says is true?  https://dalehusband.com/category/skepticism/natural-news/

Or the lunacy of Pamela Geller as if she is always correct:  https://dalehusband.com/2014/08/30/pamela-geller-pathological-liar-hypocrite-and-bigot/

Or how about these dogmas?

https://dalehusband.com/2017/03/16/responding-to-the-future-of-freedom-foundation/

Yes, I already said similar things here, but I think it is well worth repeating now.

Celebrating Black History Month, Stupidly

Read this embarrassing article:

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/black-history-month-inspired-school-lunch-menu-cau/ndGPD/
Black History Month inspired school lunch menu causes outcry

menuNoelle Walker and KTVU.com

CONCORD, Calif. —

A student effort to come up with a special menu for Black History Month backfired at Carondelet High School in Concord.

Interim President, Sister Ann Bernard, said students who were members of the Black Student Union club at neighboring De La Salle High School planned a special lunch to celebrate the month.  The menu included fried chicken, corn bread and watermelon.

“They thought this was a very clever way, in their own way, of celebrating Black History Month. It was as simple, and naive as that,” Sister Bernard explained.

On Thursday Bernard publicly apologized for the event she said was planned without following procedures to get staff approval.

“It was the parents who thought, rightfully so, we were being insensitive to African American culture, which is not who we are or what we profess,” Bernard said, shaking her head.

The first staff or administration heard of the proposed menu was when it was announced over the loudspeaker Monday morning.

“Most people were laughing, but they were laughing nervously because they knew it wasn’t right,” said sophomore, Dom Carpenello.

While Carpenello admitted the menu sounded tasty, she admitted, “The menu really doesn’t have anything to do with black history.”

The chief curator at Oakland’s African American Museum and Library, Rick Moss, agreed.

“I guess there’s an impression that all black people eat this kind of food, which of course is false,” Moss said.

He said the menu came from a place of ignorance about what Black History Month means, but says the reaction to the students’ misstep was also wrong.

“So this is wonderful opportunity to actually inform people, not something to react to,” Moss said.

Carondelet High School is using the incident as a “teachable moment,” Sister Bernard said there will be teacher sensitivity training and a student assembly this month.

“There’s education needed on every single level, not just for students, but also for faculty and staff,” she said.

As for the menu, Bernard said, “I can assure you that fried chicken and the rest of it is not part of it.”

I cannot believe the sheer ignorance being displayed here! This issue is about misrepresenting the culture of an entire race. Fried chicken, corn bread. and watermelon are not and have never been “black” foods, but were among the cheap foods served to the enslaved ancestors of most African-Americans by slaveowners. It would be like showing pictures of Nazi concentration camps as part of celebrating Jewish History Month!

For more details on the incredible stupidity of it all, read this:

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/02/07/fried-chicken-lunch-black-history-month-really/

Women shouldn’t teach at Christian schools, round three!

Not again!!!!

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/women-shouldnt-teach-at-christian-schools/

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/women-shouldnt-teach-at-christian-schools-round-2/

And now……

http://www.inquisitr.com/550024/pregnant-woman-fired-for-premarital-sex/

A pregnant woman was fired for premarital sex, according to a lawsuit she filed that claims wrongful termination.

The woman, Teri James, was a teacher at San Diego Christian College when she was called into her supervisor’s office in October.

Her supervisor got straight to the point when she asked if James was pregnant, reports TODAY. James, unmarried at the time, confirmed the news.

The admission was a violation of the school’s rules, according to the lawsuit filed by James in San Diego County superior court. She explained in the lawsuit that the termination letter included:

“Teri engaged in activity outside the scope of the Handbook and Community Covenant that does not build up the college’s mission.”

James added that her then-fiance was offered a job by the school, even though they knew he engaged in premarital sex. James added of the meeting where she was fired:

“I had to leave right after the meeting. I had to go into the office with all of my co-workers and say I’m leaving. I never came back so I don’t know what my co-workers thought, but for me, it was humiliating.”

ABC Local notes that Teri James isn’t suing to get her job back. Instead, she is suing for damages because of wrongful termination and invasion of privacy.

The school’s community covenant states that Biblical character is highly valued and desire. It also states that the school frowns on sexually immoral behavior, including premarital sex, though it doesn’t say what the consequence would be for a violation. Teri James added of her termination:

“San Diego Christian College did not show any mercy or grace towards me, and acted completely un-Christ-like. They made more of a business decision than showing God’s love.”

James’ attorney, Gloria Allred, added that the college, while a Christian school, still has to “comply with the laws of the state of California.” This means they cannot discriminate against an employee based on gender, marital status, or pregnancy.

Do you think the college was right to fire Teri James for having premarital sex?

Even Jesus was quoted as saying, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Clearly, those Christian schools and their “Biblical” values are a load of crap!

Women shouldn’t teach at Christian schools, round 2

First, look at this:

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/women-shouldnt-teach-at-christian-schools/

Are all Christian schools this bigoted? Appearantly!

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/former-coach-fired-christian-school-wedlock-pregnancy-145601399.html#

Former coach of the year fired from Christian school for out-of-wedlock pregnancy

In an incredibly bizarre situation that appears headed for a legal challenge, a Dallas-area volleyball coach and science teacher was fired by the Christian school at which she worked for becoming pregnant before being married.

As first reported by Dallas Fort Worth network WFAA, Rockwall (Texas) Heritage Christian Academy volleyball coach and science teacher Cathy Samford was fired during the fall semester after she became pregnant out of wedlock. Samford had led the volleyball program for three years and had been named the school’s coach of the year once during that span.

Still, that couldn’t help save her job when she first admitted her pregnancy during the fall semester, with the school terminating her based on a  violation of her contract’s morals clause because it was determined her pregnancy meant she could not serve as “a Christian role model.”

“I looked it up and thought, ‘They can’t do this,'” the 29-year-old Samford told WFAA. “We all have different views and interpretations. It’s not necessarily the Christian thing to do to throw somebody aside because of those.”

While Samford and her lawyer, Colin Walsh, are working toward filing a discrimination suit against the school, their case may be complicated by the fact that Heritage Christian Academy is a private school, and recent Supreme Court decisions have defended the right of Christian schools to exert more influence on their hirings and firings because they consider teachers to be “ministers in the classroom.”

“The Supreme Court, as a matter of fact in the last month, has ruled 9-to-0 that a Christian school does have that right, because this is a ministry, so we have the right to have standards of conduct,” Heritage Christian Academy headmaster Dr. Ron Taylor, who acknowledged that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had contacted the school, told WFAA. “How’s it going to look to a little fourth-grade girl that sees she’s pregnant and she’s not married?”

 

While the two parties attempted mediation, those efforts failed quickly because the school refused to consider a settlement for the case.

That has left Samford uninsured and in financial distress as she heads towards giving birth, a situation she never considered possible when she was a proud member of Heritage Christian Academy’s faculty.

Would it have been better if this teacher and coach had chosen abortion to hide that she was ever pregnant? According to traditional Christian morals, isn’t having an abortion even worse than having the baby out of wedlock? And have any men been fired for getting a woman pregnant out of wedlock? I’ve never heard of that happening!

This is why I will never teach at or send any children I have to such a school….most of them seem to be run by sexist hypocrites! This is not about enforcing morals, this is about a school trying to save money by denying an insurance claim, something you would expect only from corrupt private businesses! And even if having a baby out of wedlock is considered immoral, the BABY should not be punished for her parents’ mistakes!

Grades in school should be eliminated

It has occurred to me that giving letter grades to students in school is a form of rating some better than others that has nothing to do with whether they are successful or not. If the lowest passing grade is a D-, then a student who gets that grade will still pass, just as much as one who gets an A+. So why bother with such grades at all?

I would propose instead that all students be allowed only TWO levels of achievement: P (pass) or F (fail) and that in order to pass, they must score an average of at least 90% on tests in a certain subject, the average being calculated at the end of a school year instead of every six weeks.

Another reform I would make would be to stop graduating students from high school after they complete 12th grade. Instead, I think the various levels in school should be:

Elementary school:  Level I through Level V (I’m using Roman numerals for the various levels),

Middle school:  Level VI though X,

High school: Level XI though Level XV.

with “college” or “university” levels eliminated because they will be integrated with the high school levels.

For example, in math, basic arithmetic could be Levels I and II, algebra could be Level III or IV, and calculus could be Level X or XI. Similar designations would be made for other subjects.

A student who fails a level would be forced in the next year to retake the course(s) he failed, without exception. Thus if he was at Level II, he would remain at that level until he passes all his Level II courses. Thus, there might be children well past puberty that would still be in elementary school. Students who have finished elementary school but not yet reached middle school may leave school, though their job prospects would be limited. The same is true for students that have finished middle school but not yet reached high school.

ROTE LEARNING MUST BE BANNED! Instead, children of all ages should be expected to express creativity and critical thinking by writing the answers to their tests in essay form, not merely marking “true” or “false” to a question or answering a multiple choice question in which it is possible to get the right answer by accident or by cheating! By causing children to take controversial positions and defend them before their peers, they may soon learn that many things they assumed were absolutely true from their parents and others are not necessarily so.