Faith-based Bullying

Before I write this post I must stress that this is not aimed at everyone who holds religious or spiritual beliefs. It is in fact aimed squarely at the author of theologyarchaeology.wordpress.com, for the things said in their latest article. I addressed a little of this in one of my most recent posts – now let’s look at what appears to have triggered this article. Quotes in italics are not from TA, but rather from the sources he is quoting from.

Parents of a 5-year-old “transgender child” have filed a complaint against a St. Paul charter school, alleging it failed to protect him from bullying and refused to teach all the students their preferred transgender-awareness curriculum.

I will accept that expecting transgender-awareness lessons for such a young age group is going to be very hard to get implemented, and speaking as the father to a girl who is nearly six, I don’t think children of that age group would understand in much detail the ideas presented to them anyway. It would have been better if the child’s parents had stressed the anti-bullying rules the school has in place, along with a quiet word regarding their child’s choices.

That being said, what TA goes on to say is worthy of condemnation:

These parents want THEIR material presented to all the other students. One obvious point that needs to be made here is that it is not the job of the school to protect students from bullying when the student’s parents set their child up to be bullied. In this case the parents are the one making their child a prime target by not providing him or her with sound advice but encourages them to act in a manner everyone knows will draw the wrong attention from their classmates. The school cannot be held responsible when the parents are at fault.

Apparently encouraging a child to be themselves is setting up that child to be bullied and the school bears no responsibility toward the child that is within their grounds, nor toward the behaviour and attitudes of other children in their care. At such young ages, it’s not only parents that are huge influences upon children but also teachers. No teacher worth their salt will condone bullying, regardless of the reason.

(referring to how the child had dressed for school) Did the parents not think that this would keep their child safe from ridicule and bullying? The parents have the biblical responsibility to teach their children the right way to live

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What?! Religious interference in education is just one way in which belief systems are superimposed upon the rest of society, irrespective of whether the rest of society shares that belief system. The parents of the child in question (and indeed, anyone who doesn’t want Biblical rules making policy) are under no obligation to follow Christian belief systems, especially when those same belief systems encourage discriminatory stances. I wonder if TA understands the difference between his idea of imposing points of view (where the state expects public institutions and businesses to abide by laws that apply equally to everyone, and exempts private institutions from these laws) and what what he is proposing, which is that everyone should follow Biblical values as a matter of public law, regardless of whether they believe those values or not. Which idea is really about imposing views on others?


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