I almost got kicked out of a Catholic Primary School, not for fighting or swearing, but because they declared me to be a blasphemous child. I find this rather strange because I had no idea what that meant at the time as I was 6 years old an obviously a total angel!
How did I upset the forgiving Catholics so much? Well I was brought up to ask questions and to enjoy learning (yes yes my mother is a teacher), so I was looking forward to Primary School even though I chucked the required tanty on the first day when I was dropped off.
I digress, back to the story… one bright sunny morning our teacher began teaching us about dinosaurs and when they roamed the earth (I thought dinosaurs were the bomb) then after lunch we had bible study. Here is where I got confused… ‘if god created the earth in seven days then when were there dinosaurs? I thought you said they came before man’. Apparently you can’t question what is in the bible, I was given an answer I don’t remember possibly because it didn’t answer my question, because I didn’t get an answer I kept asking the question. Then I started being ignored, I don’t know who on earth taught teachers that ignoring children will make them go away – what morons they were. My response was to go and ask other teachers, when they couldn’t answer me I went to the boss, I took myself to the Principals office because she must know everything because she is a Nun and a Principal, she told me some garble about how perhaps when the bible says seven days it didn’t mean days, perhaps back then days could mean many years. Ahh ok so why didn’t they just write that it took many years to create the earth, that’s a lie, why did God lie to make himself sound good. THAT was when they called my parents! Apparently I was a horrid child who taught the other student bad behaviour and they believed I was a devil child who was turning children away from God and the church with my incessant questioning. I don’t think it helped that they sat me at a table in the Principal’s office with paper and crayons during this meeting and I promptly began drawing dinosaurs, thinking I was being nice I signed it and told her I had made her a present and gave her the drawing. Oops! But when you are a kid you get obsessed with these things until you get what you need and then you move on.
Teaching evolution and creationism in the same school just does not work (especially an extremely strict Catholic one)… it messes with kids heads! When I was 8 I one day asked the Priest why there were only altar-boys not altar-girls, he said that women shouldn’t touch things of God. I said that God was a meanie and should learn manners because we are supposed to share and why didn’t God’s Mummy teach him how to share? And maybe God needed a time out. THAT’s when my parents were called again. Luckily my mother is quite into equality and so she took on the Priest and the Headmistress and said how dare they cast God in such an unfavourable light for her child. Women and men should be held as equals by God blah blah blah, I think I then ruined her tirade by interrupting and saying I didn’t want to be Catholic anymore because their God was naughty and I wanted to find a God that would let me play with his stuff!
Not long after this I had my long hair all cut off because I spent a lot of time at the beach and HATED knots, until it grew out the Principal always made comments about me being a boy – man she hated me!!! My parents never believed me enough to go down to the school about it though.
You have to be careful what you teach children, because you honestly do confuse them. When the parents demanded the inclusion of sexual education (this was spurred by the fact that there had been a sexual predator in our area trying to get kids into his car – they wanted us to learn what no meant) they really shouldn’t have held that after bible study. Many of us kids went home and asked their parents why God didn’t really ask Mary’s permission and if Mary had said no. They changed the sex ed classes after that, they then consisted of the girls and boys being separated… the girls were shown what happens when you put a tampon into a water glass – I have no idea what the guys were shown.
Is there a point to this? Hmmm wait let me make one up… ok here it it…
1/ Don’t teach your kids to question and learn unless you mean it
2/ Don’t teach evolution and creationism in the same school
3/ Try not to confuse God figures (whichever you may embrace) in kids heads
4/ Kids do get bullied by teachers, if your kid says something like they hate their teacher, find out why! I know a lot of kids say it, but sometimes there is a good reason.
5/ Don’t punish children for being smart enough to see that what they are being told does not add up! It makes them want to stop learning because they feel punished for it.