Yeah, that’s what I may be up to next week. I always figured my religious outlook and strong support for the separation of church and state might someday bring me into conflict with one of my daughter’s teachers, but I always figured it would be with a Christian, not a New Ager.
This all started last Friday night as I was driving Courtney out to her Aunt’s for a holiday weekend with the McCormick side of her family. We were talking about nothing in particular in the car when she suddenly blurted out that the teacher in her Life Management class told the students that she (the teacher) wasn’t teaching them witchcraft. I believe my reaction was along the lines of “Wait. Back up. What do you mean your teacher told you that she isn’t teaching witchcraft?” Courtney, sensing that she had just aroused some note of concern in my voice, took quite a bit of prodding to extract the whole story from her and even now I’m not sure I have a complete picture.
It seems that in addition to sewing, cooking, and the related topics covered in such a class the teacher is also teaching some New Age Spiritualism concepts. Kids have been told that they should listen to their “Spirit Guides” and are being encouraged to participate in some form of meditative practices prior to the start of class. This has caused at least one kid to go home and report to his or her parents that the teacher was instructing them in the ways of witchcraft. While the teacher is correct when she says she isn’t teaching the kids any kind of “religion” per se, she may still be crossing a line that has my daughter feeling somewhat uncomfortable. When Courtney opted not to participate at one point the teacher told her she was “only hurting herself.”
Not being able to get a good picture of just what, exactly, is going on in that classroom I suppose it’s time I paid this teacher an after-school visit to find out for myself. My intention is to be as non-confrontational as I can and keep the discussion as civil as possible, but it sounds like the teacher may have already come under questioning from other parents so I may be in for a hostile reaction. If nothing else, it should prove interesting.