R.E teacher shows photos of aborted foetuses to class

Issues relating to promoting a secular state education and raising children in a non-religious home
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picapica
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R.E teacher shows photos of aborted foetuses to class

Post by picapica » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:02 am

I studied R.E at scool- and it was a secular curriculum, whish I thoroughly enjoyed as the syllabus covered Christianity ( and it's main branches),Islam,Judaism, Buddhism,Hinduism, Sikhism and I did a project on Rastafarianism. I grew up in London during the racial tensions of the 1970's. A secular R.E syllabus informed my generation about the world and I truly believe had a strong, positive and far reaching impact on building tolerance in my hometown.
I moved to Ireland with my children 5 years ago, and enrolled my eldest in the local secondary school. I was naive- I should have opted my daughter out of the compulsory study of R.E for junior cert. I had no idea that in order to pass this compulsory exam my atheist child would have to answer as if she was a Catholic. She is articulate and intelligent and we would sit together and regulary discuss the outrageous text book and the even more outrageous opinions of her R.E teacher at home. There were a few occasions in class where my dughter tried to 'stand up for her beliefs': when asked to write an essay entitled 'how to keep hold of your faith when in the presence of an Atheist' she aked the teacher how she should approach this essay as she did not believe in a God. Her teacher sarcastically replied ' why don't you write me an essay on how a 13 year old can come up with an idea like that??'
This teachers far-right, fundamentalist Catholic agenda gave rise to many, many provocative, rude and outrageous remarks- all of which pale into insignificance in the light of what he did in the last fortnight of term.There is a 'morality' question on the Junior cert paper- a student can write about how certain 'moral' issues clash with the Catholic ethos. Typically teachers prepare students to write about divorce or abortion. the teacher advised to 'leave divorce alone', he then reached into a folder and pulled out 6 A4 sized COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHS OF ABORTED FOETUSES and showed them to the class.
Marks
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Re: R.E teacher shows photos of aborted foetuses to class

Post by Marks » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:22 pm

Something like that happened to my family as well. We had opted our child out of the RE course for the very reasons that you set out. It is Religious Instruction not an education about Religion and Beliefs.
She was not supervised outside the RE class as they refused to do so.

One particular day the RE Teacher showed a film which called women that had abortions names and it was totally unsuitable for teenagers.

I complained and the film was never shown again even though my child was not actually taking part in the class. The reason for this is that the teacher should not have shown these pictures to the students without the permission of their parents. Those pictures are not part of the RE Course or part of the Guidelines for the Formation and Development of Catholic Students.

You should write a letter to the Principal and complain that these pictures were shown and you were not asked whether or not you would permit your child to view such material. Ask for their Religious Education policy and ask if it is part of their policy that they show teenagers pictures of aborted foetuses during the RE class. Tell them that under no circumstances are they to show these pictures to your child again. You are completely within your rights to complain about this. There should be a Committee for parents in the school and you could ask them to find out what the policy is. Let us know how you get on.
Feardorcha
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Re: R.E teacher shows photos of aborted foetuses to class

Post by Feardorcha » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Religious Instruction not an education about Religion and Beliefs.
This is going to be an area of dispute as schools claim to be teaching an understanding of all religions and none. We know, of course, that it is just Catholic instruction but I have found that very hard to prove.

However, the religion class in my daughter's school was addressed by two buddhists recently, as it is ostensibly a class to study all religions and none. The class should therefore also be open to the wisdom of a couple of atheists. I will put this to the school but if they accept, who will do the job? I am willing to stand up to the mark but wouldn't it be a good thing if we in AI had some notes or guidelines.

I'll see what the school says and may come back if I get the gig. Cool so! LOL! YOLO! (I can speak teenager).
Tulip1
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Re: R.E teacher shows photos of aborted foetuses to class

Post by Tulip1 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:59 pm

Feardorcha wrote:
Religious Instruction not an education about Religion and Beliefs.

I'll see what the school says and may come back if I get the gig. Cool so! LOL! YOLO! (I can speak teenager).
LMAO :lol: :lol: :lol:
Pope says atheists pick & choose their morals. Correct. Today I will be frowning on child abuse & not having a problem with homosexuality.
Marks
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Re: R.E teacher shows photos of aborted foetuses to class

Post by Marks » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:55 pm

We do get offers to speak in some schools especially from Educate Together. Unfortunately it is difficult to get someone available during the week to go to a school and speak on the subject.

As for the course on Religious Education at second level we actually have it in writing from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment that they have no control over how the course is delivered. There is also a recognition in the Report from the Irish Human Rights Commission that in many schools they are combining the course with the Guidelines for the Formation and Development of Catholic students.
Feardorcha
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Re: R.E teacher shows photos of aborted foetuses to class

Post by Feardorcha » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:58 pm

Could you point me at that report and at the relevant section as it will be useful in my dialogue with the school? I know they are combining faith formation with religious education but it is hard to prove. I've pored over that 'Exploring Faith' textbook but it is a very clever piece of propaganda.

I'll write some notes for when/if I get to speak to a class - nothing too heavy just a quick spin around the big bang theory, evolution, and the history of scientific endeavour over the past two thousand years.
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