Enough with the political correctness in school

Enough with the political correctness in school

I went to the planning meeting at school for the upcoming holiday party and although I participate every year, this year just made me feel like all the political correctness talk was really getting out of control.  The PTO president starts every year by announcing, No blue, green or red juices or foods.  No specific holiday referenced crafts.  No specific holiday related game or activity.  No talking about any traditions.  Now go have fun.

It's understandable that we don't want to force a religious holiday on anyone, but ruling out red juice.... really?  As we broke off into our smaller classroom groups, that's when the craziness really started to happen.  Now I've been doing this for a number of years and am clearly a little jaded.  However, I couldn't believe the insanity coming out of the parent's mouths.  "Let's make snowmen" "NO, you can't do that, look, there's blue in the background - too much like Hanukkah" "Can we color these sheets that have kids playing in the snow?" "NO - their hats look too much like Santa hats".  The conversations went a lot like this for a good ten minutes.

Haven't we just gone crazy worrying about being politically correct?  The kids just want to play and have fun.  They don't care if there's red or blue juice.

Shouldn't we be celebrating diversity instead of trying to hide it?  Why can't we introduce many cultures and traditions?  It would be very difficult to touch them all, but shouldn't we be showing and appreciating all that we celebrate instead of trying to hide it like there's something wrong with one holiday or the other?

For years we've celebrated Christmakkah, or Hanumas with my neighbor.  We go to their house and hear the story of Hanukkah and eat traditional food.  We then go to my house with all the kids to enjoy the lights and make Christmas cookies.  We're taught to appreciate the good in both of our religions.  We were raised to believe different things, yet are not trying to hide anything.  Instead, we're allowing our children to have open minds and celebrate our differences.

I can understand not wanting to have one tradition dominate another in school, but we're really letting it get out of control.  I don't think drinking red juice will make someone turn Christian or make them feel isolated.  It's adults that are influencing the insanity.  What happened to the phrase Unity in Diversity?  It's turned into Don't Ask Don't Tell.

After listening to parents rule out every fun activity the kids could partake in for the party, I couldn't take it anymore.  I packed up my things and on my way out said, I'll bring a beige snack and vote for the craft to be coloring the baby Jesus holding a Menorah in one hand and a Kinara in the other.

Come on people.  We're different.  That's what makes the human race so interesting.  Enjoy it, don't pretend like it doesn't exist!

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  • Wouldn't the point be not to favor one religion over another, but instead they just avoided religion altogether?

    Sounds like Christopher Hitchens is the principal. Come on.

    Remind them then that there can be no ham. The pagans slaughtered a pig on the summer solstice, so that's right out.

    There are some Christian sects who gave given up on Christmas, they accept that Christianity took a pagan holiday, so they want to renounce it. That should put the death knell on it, save for the rampant commercialism that it has become. All the kids should just study the origin of money at Christmas, that's what is worshipped anyhow.

    http://www.eliyah.com/paganexp.html is one example. The guy is a Jew for Jesus (talk about taking the hard road to start) and he talks about Christians "giving up" on Christmas. Personally, I like all the lights, it makes the darkness of the shortest days way more bearable, and it's pretty and cozy in a cold city like Chicago. That's about all I have invested in it, however, as my family and I are pretty agnostic. I still do the tree and stuff for my kids, and thankfully the school is taking the "all religions and expressions are valid" approach, rather than the exclusionary tactics that you discuss.

  • Extreme policies of political correctness are hindering the abilities of some of us to do God's work and spread the Good Word, and honestly, it's pretty frustrating. Tebow Time, baby - how do you think this guy keeps winning? He says forget political correctness, I'm going to worship God how I want, when I want. BAM!

  • FWIW, I agree with you that Political Correctness has gone for a swim in the deep end. However, it might help to see this from a slightly different perspective. You're looking at that PTO meeting in real-time in the microcosm of today. Think of how it has been on a longer scale, say 5, 10 or even 50 years. The PCness of today is a vast overcorrectness for years of inequality and one particular tradition/faith dominating/overshadowing/blocking out others.

    Think of smokers for example. There was a time when they could smoke inside the workplace as often as they wanted. You're not a smoker? "Fine, don't smoke but don't tell me I cannot exercise my right to smoke even if some study did show that I was causing you harm," was the attitude. Asking a smoker to blow their smoke in another direction of their own free will wasn't easy and most felt that since they couldn't see the invisible smoke going into your lungs, the annoyance and risk was all in your head. It took enough non-smokers to convince their elected officials that they had more votes than smokers such that laws were enacted to regulate smoking. Ask a smoker today if these laws are fair or extreme.

    I guess what I'm saying is that because we didn't or couldn't see the long term ramifications of celebrating our way at the expense of another's, we are paying for the sins of past generations cramming Christmas and other more dominent faiths & traditions down the throats of others.

  • In reply to darkangel:

    Interesting perspective, and I completely understand what you are saying. Christmas is pretty overbearing. I always wondered how I would truly feel if we weren't Catholic.
    The biggest problem I have with the schools (at least my school) is that if feels like they're making the kids more afraid of the other religions because we can't talk about them comfortably.
    At one time my kids went to a Lutheran school. I loved it. They took two weeks and explored different traditions and religions and dedicated one day for each of them to completely appreciate and learn about. I'd still go there now if we didn't move!
    Thank you so much for your thoughts.

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