Last week my daughter's first grade teacher sent home a parent survey on various issues, including study habits, my child's attitude about school, her strengths, my goals for the year, any health concerns, transportation to/from school, blah blah blah.
The last question was "Are there any holidays your child does not celebrate." If no, check "All."
I spent a disproportunate amount of time reading this question over and over and trying to figure out what it meant.
It is a VERY diverse school, with an emphasis on "global studies." Probably Catholics represent the largest percentage of the student body. Certainly lots of Protestants. Lots of Muslims, including (I think) the principal. Lots of Jews. A surprising number of Buddhists, and a small Hindu population.
Last year, in kindergarten, my daughter decorated Christmas trees and menorahs in December, did a lesson on Passover traditions and an earlier lesson on Ramadan, had a parade for Lunar New Year, and sang "This Little Light of Mine" in the auditorium for Martin Luther King day. She also did a unit on Zeus and Hercules. Each month of the year focused on one region of the world, and often holidays (both secular and religious) that are celebrated in that region were highlighted during that month.
I'm fine with all of that. I knew the school's global theme when I enrolled her.
I'm thrilled she is getting Spanish in kindergarten onward, will start studying Mandarin in 4th grade, and Arabic in 6th. I also know that, especially in the higher grades, the "global" theme will focus strongly on earth sciences. And even in kindergarten, environmental responsibilities were a huge component of the science lessons, and my little 5 year old came home chattering about "ecosystems" and "endangered species."
So what was that question on the parent survey about? Are there any holidays that she doesn't celebrate? Ummmm... a one page form would not give me enough room to list all of the holidays that she doesn't celebrate.
But I'm perfectly happy to have her learn about anyone's holidays and traditions.
Was this some "cover our ass" thing that the school sent out in case some parent had a fit about the Halloween parade and Satan? Or making sure that their kids don't bring home decorated paper menorahs?