I am SOO annoyed right now...My 6 year old son (1st grade) came home with a turkey that he made, and on each feather, the kids were to write two things that they are thankful for..on one of the feathers it said "God" and "Jesus"..so I asked him about it, and he says, "Umm..Jesus is the king of the world! He made the whole world! We're all thankful for God and Jesus." (And yes, I have had this discussion with him before due to kids in his class (one in particular) talking about it.). I asked him who told him that..He tells me the teacher said it! Wtf!?! Would you go talk to the teacher about it, or just talk to your child again? I hate to think about him being singled out and ostracisized by his classmates and teacher, by me informing her of the fact that we are atheists.. Apparently every school year around Easter and the holidays, I have to deal with this crap now...grrrrrr!
I would talk to both. Tell your son that is what some people believe, but then also tell him that other people have other beliefs and conclude with what science, history and reason say of the matter. But don't hesitate to talk to the teacher, and if need be the principle and superintendent.
I don't think that it is relevant that you are an atheist. This is inappropriate and illegal. You need not out yourself at all to deal with this. You might be Jewish or some other religion for all they know, yet it still doesn't matter. There are two things to consider here:
One is that your child will be exposed to a great variety of nonsense in the world. Censure is not the answer. These should be parlayed into teaching moments, if possible.
The second is that the teacher is a person in an authority position that can confuse children when they peddle their personal beliefs that are at odds with parents (or reality), especially when they are outside the school curriculum. It must be stopped.
I'd meet with the teacher and the teacher's supervisor and and let them know that they need to stick with what is in the curriculum and leave the religious shit to the churches, mosques, synagogues, and other holy places that populate the land.
If all else fails, take Nelson's advice and contact some national organizations like Americans United or FFRF. Also, document everything!!!!!!! Just in case.
EDIT: I should say, take Nelson's advice to the letter. You need to escalate it as needed and document all, even if it is taking notes during or after meetings with school personnel. The very fact that you are taking notes might be enough to scare them into compliance.
My son went to a pre-school where the teachers was always saying that sort of thing. My son would tell them that I didn't believe in god and they would invariably tell him that they were praying for me. It was not a state pre-school (it was cheap, local and had a good reputation) so there was nothing illegal about it, and since starting a public kindergarten he has decided that god isn't real. So I would do what the other posters have said, but I think with some gentle logic you will be able to undo the damage.
It might not be illegal but unless they are a church school it is inappropriate. If the school is open to everyone they should respect everyone's beliefs or lack of beliefs.
That depends on who owns and operates the joint. It could be a bad business decision, as seen with the gelatto business at Skepticon in Missouri, or it could be a boon like the businesses that advertise with the Jesus fish symbol.
I believe it is totally inappropriate to teach children religious ideas without the permission of the parents. Obviously if the school advertises themselves as a christian business you would have a pretty good idea of what is being taught and would have no right to complain. But if they are not up front about it, I think it would certainly be inappropriate at least and maybe could be considered a violation of ones civil rights.
Although I agree with much of what you write, I don't think that a private business talking about God violates a person's civil rights. Especially if they advertise themselves in such a manner.
If they advertise themselves in such a manner there is no problem. That's what I wrote. We are talking about a school, not a car wash. If it is my right to raise my children with my beliefs it is a violation of my rights for others to teach MY children THEIR beliefs. If the school does NOT present themselves as a religious school then they have no business teaching religion.
Then I agree even more than I had thought!
I sometimes worry about peers and peer pressure. Any experience there? I only have a daughter that is under 2 at the moment, so my experience is zilch. Kids don't seem to be born with this belief in God or gods, surprisingly, so it has not been an issue yet.
I had a very bad experience decades ago with peer pressure after being outed during an illegal, un-constitutional prayer session. Peer pressure can be a BIG problem depending on where you live. If you do not live in a relatively tolerant and cosmopolitan area, then it can really mess up your kid and even his or her life.
Hmm. Food for thought. Luckily I am not now in or will in the future be in places that are almost exclusively religious.