Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear Kindergarten... (Serious Rant!!)

I have a problem with Lily's kindergarten; mostly her teachers, and the state government's kindergarten education curriculum, which states that "religion is to be treated equal to other educational goals", according to the principal, an appointment to discuss our grievance a couple of weeks ago.


I have lived in the United States for four years, where, at least officially, religion is not taught in public schools. I know, that the Conservative Right has sneaked in its Christian propaganda, and it has deteriorated the public school system in the US tremendously. Seriously, no-one will take US students serious in international competition if Creationism is taught instead of true science. Introduce an OPTIONAL class on religion class and be done with it!

But back to the issue at hand: When we signed Lily up for kindergarten, we explained to the principal that we were an atheist family and inquired on to which extend Lily would be exposed to Christian propaganda. We were assured that there was "some" religion included in the curriculum, since topics like Christmas would be discussed, but that the kindergarten was very much secular (since it is being financed by the town). Only a few month later, Lily mentioned "God" for the first time. She mostly sang songs about it that she had learned in class, and Richard and I decided to ignore it. But recently, the religious indoctrination has gone way overboard. A few months back, Lily pointed at a cross, telling: "Look, Mami, that's a cross and means God's love!". We explained to her that a cross was just a cross and that God was a fairy tale, like Snow White, even though some people consider it real.

Several weeks back, Lily jumped into my bed in the morning, exclaiming: "Mami, Jesus lives in my heart!!". That was a shock in early morning! Again, we explained to her that the Jesus she's being told in kindergarten about is a fairy tale, and that she held the people she loved in her heart.

Today, driving home from Lily's swim class, we were talking about JJ, her Grandma Cat's little dog who had died last summer. She asked me: "Mami, did JJ die on a cross??" I asked her why she thought that; she answered: "Well, Jesus died on a cross, so I thought everyone's dying on a cross".

Folks, who thinks that it is a good idea to tell little kids stories like that?? I am pee'd off beyond what I can express here. And the difficult thing is, that we don't really have a choice putting her in a different kindergarten. It's the only one in town, and all her friends are going there. We have thought about sending her to the Montessori a couple of towns away, but she had such a hard time finding her place the first time, and we decided to move and settle down for good in Germany in order to provide stability for the girls. Once she goes to elementary school, she had to make a completely new set of friends again, and Lily needs stability so much.

So we'll just have to grin and bear it; another 18 months until she goes to first grade and will be in ethics class while the sheep can go and listen to some more Christian indoctrination, brought to you by Bavarian State Government!

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