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Thread: geez, Easter overload

  1. #1
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    geez, Easter overload

    So I have shared before that I am in a new school that is in a more conservative community than I have been in a long time. Mostly that specifically Christian religious holidays are a big deal. It seems fine with the community overall, and I am one of the few who is REALLY uncomfortable. Since I am the new person I am working with it, just not doing Christmas or Easter in my program.

    However there is still the assumption that I am Christian, and that my assistant is Christian (actually practicing Jewish). People have been talking to me and said things like 'well we know we can't use Christmas colors because someone will have an issue'. I am the one who would actually have the issue. Of course I get wished Merry Christmas and Happy Easter a lot, I say thank you and I hope you have a good holiday. Sometimes parents will notice and give me a serious double take.

    So today was the weirdest with my roommate. I said a student wanted to basically create an Easter egg hunt on Friday, and I said no. Of course professionally and in a caring way. My roommate said that I could do it next year, so I said I didn't do religious holidays in public school. Her response was that since the bunny was not in the Bible then it wasn't religious so I should be able to do it in school. I told her I didn't want to, it was not necessary to a good and fun program, and my family does not do Easter. I think of how many people may feel really out of place around these holidays. I also think about people with really crappy, abusive families who may have bad memories of holidays. I got more pressure this year to like Christmas than ever before, I started to think about people who have trauma around holidays or depression.

    So yeah, just blowing off steam because I stay professional.

  2. #2
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    Is there any way to support "holidays" without promoting the religious or commercial activities? We were not particularly religious but I remember the fun we all had working on the pretty standard holiday activities in school. Mostly it was Halloween and Christmas. Easter must have been more a church and family thing because I have no memory of anything specific in schools.

    Of course, we were in small city Alaska and all activities had to be done indoors in Oct and Dec. so the school and its building were important to the whole very non diverse community.

    Personally, I wish Christmas could be turned into more of a giving and less of a getting holiday time.

  3. #3
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    I've heard Happy Easter so much this last week. I always want to say "I don't believe in the Easter Bunny" just to see the response. I do however believe "He is Risen" which is the reason for Easter.

    I don't know why you should be forced to "do" holidays in school. I would however, recommend that you consider doing none as opposed to only those that don't impact your beliefs.

    I'm with you Sweetana3 on Christmas!

  4. #4
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    I am no longer a Christian, but still get the holiday wishes... Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, etc. I really don't mind as those who say these things to me are doing so out of kindness and are wishing me well. Even though not part of my religious beliefs, the intent is goodness and kindness, and I can gladly and graciously accept the religious well-wishes.

    As part of school programs - that's whole other issue and I'm glad I am not involved in those situations any long! Good luck!
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  5. #5
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    I don't do any religious holidays, and if there is a concern about anything I didn't think was a problem I would listen to that. I have a friend who works in a school in an immigrant community and they asked that no holidays be done. The school has respected that and there is no issue there.

    I don't want to be the complainer, I just felt very awkward around Christmas this year. The teacher's lounge was Christmas, the wishes were all Christmas, etc. Now Easter decorations (not spring) were all over the school and a 'women of faith' group had a meeting hosted at the school during the day. Even the FM who knows I am Buddhist and my assistant is Jewish said Happy Easter, My assistant answered happy Passover in that case.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    At our neighborhood board meeting someone who is Woke about race issues and reminds us regularly of that planned an Easter egg hunt with neighborhood money.


    Being old and experienced and having done something similar decades ago, I inquired mildly if there had been any pushback about the religious aspect of it and she looked at me with surprise. Years ago there was a little flap about neighborhood money being spent for an obviously Christian event.

    For me, the Easter bunny thing is all about spring and the Earth and I can divorce any issues of religiosity from it, but apparently many cannot.

    I am glad to be out of that milieu of steering through correctness. Perhaps she will encounter unhappiness, perhaps not, but I did raise the issue. We cant do better if we dont know better, right? And etc.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I am no longer religious at all but don’t mind the greetings people use. I loved celebrating all the holidays when my kids were home. I loved hiding their Easter baskets. Once they were teens they said they were not going to hunt anymore and I said no problem but too bad they will go to waste. They hunted because I wouldn’t tell them where they were). The Easter bunny is not religious. When my kids went to school they even celebrated Valentine’s Day. A Jewish friend called and wanted to know if we were doing anything today and I said no. So we will walk the dogs, eat dinner and play cards.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I'm oblivious to the religious underpinnings of holidays, the greetings, etc. I'm aware of the pagan roots of most of them. It's a complete non-issue for me.

    I agree public institutions should completely steer clear of religion. Too bad it can't be made clear that bunnies and eggs are all about the Spring equinox and have nothing to do with Jesus.

  9. #9
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    I take somewhat of an issue with the word "complainer" as I do with "failure". It starts out the narrative with negative feelings. What you seem to want is a more inclusive considered plan on how to accommodate various beliefs within the school programs or consider the affect "religious" parts of activities might affect others not of the faith or a faith. These issues you can raise as a positive item of moving towards a better goal. They may or may not be accepted by those in power but it should not label you as a complainer unless you approach it from a negative all or nothing place. What is your district's policy?

    Get your facts together. Do you know of any children that are of other faiths? Are their needs generally considered? Is this one place where it has been overlooked? Have their been any feedback from parents, even from just one?

    I think your concern over "women of faith" meeting could be quite complex. What is the school district written policy? Perhaps the individual school messed up or has just gotten sloppy about making decisions? Don't know. Do you really want to get involved in that particular issue?

    Are you not happy with the school you recently joined?

  10. #10
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    I think at this point, Bunnies and Eggs have more to do with commercialization and candy companies.

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