June 05, 2004

Imagine there's No Heaven, No Sun, No Bible, and No Cake

Here's a pretty good anecdote to put in your "silly school stories" file, if you've got one. A teacher is reprimanded for explaining the scriptural allusion in a line from The Merchant of Venice, and is instructed by the principal on the proper response in situations when a student asks a question whose answer might entail mentioning religion: "just tell him you don't know."

This time around, the complaints seem to have come from hysterical Christian parents rather than from hysterical atheist-secular activists but, really, doesn't it all come down to the same thing? Thank God (sorry) I'm not a teacher. Or a student. Or a parent. Or a poet. Or a religious/anti-religious fanatic. It would just drive me crazy. Best to stay out of the whole thing.

(You can color me impressed that they're even bothering to attempt reading Shakespeare in schools these days. But maybe it's an old anecdote.)

In other news, a primary school in Derby, UK, has attempted to ban "threats to the well-being of children" such as home-made cakes and sunny weather. The latter rarely comes up in England, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem. In a sun-related emergency, though, teachers are instructed to use only spray-on suncreen so as to avoid physical contact, rubbing, etc. Not that I wouldn't enjoy a future where God is dead, the sun don't shine, all food arrives shrink-wrapped direct from the factory, and all human contact is from a distance, in spray-form... come to think of it, it's a Utopia we've pretty much almost achieved, though the whole sun thing remains a real problem here in California. Spray ya later...

Posted by Dr. Frank at June 5, 2004 06:38 PM | TrackBack

My mom is a teacher in Del Paso Heights. She is not allowed to use hand sanitizer on the kids or give them any means to disinfect their injuries, because they might be allergic to the ingredients.

When Christmas rolls around, they celebrate with a rousing rendition of "Frosty the Snowman". No religions can be mentioned at all, not even to explaint the differences between Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, etc., which would seem to be a politically-correct way to handle things.

No teacher can touch another child for fear of being suspected of physical or sexual abuse. The kids, however, can grab a teacher's breasts, etc., to his heart's content.

Posted by: Elizabeth at July 12, 2004 06:57 AM