How to deal with an anti-Catholic public school teacher

Recently, my son has mentioned at least two times when his Western Civilization teacher clearly stated things that were Anti-Catholic and wrong. (This subject of course includes the Protestant Reformation so I was already on alert before day 1 of school)

For example, he said the teacher said that “The Pope said you must pay the money or you cannot go to heaven.”

That is one of those “Where do I begin?” comments. However, my son and two or three Hispanics are the only Catholics in the class. This teacher the next day repeated with some other comment that was false related to Luther.

All of this has begged several questions in my mind:

  1. Where are the good Reformation tracts and/or books that are in rebuttal form?
  2. At what point can I raise an objection without coming across as a fanatic or otherwise being drawn into a religious debate with a ignorant public school teacher?

Lastly, there are many FALSE things in Church history that are so commonly taught in schools and in our culture that many Protestants and others don’t even think Catholics are even offended by it because they think Catholics agree with them.

I’d like to tell you to go straight to the School Board and complain that your child is being subjected to prejudicial speech, but I don’t actually recommend that. I think you need to begin from the assumption that the teacher believes what he is saying is historically accurate. So I think you should go (or write) to the teacher, tell him you are surprised to hear these common but easily debunked myths being repeated in class. Ask him if these inaccuracies are actually in the textbook. Offer to provide him with more accurate sources - and then, obviously, do so (it would actually be a good thing to have your documentation with you). You could cc the department head, with a cover note about how important it is that no group (Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Native American, whatever) be subjected to hearing derogatory myths repeated as historic truth in class.

If the problem isn’t resolved - then write to the School Board and tell them that your child’s first amendment rights are being violated.

(btw, I served two terms on the local public school board . . .)

We unfortunately live in a culture were Catholic-bashing seems completely acceptable. You will not be able to shield your son from it so I would prepare him to have confidence in his faith. This probably won’t be his first encounter with someone who is anti-Catholic so it is best if he just understands why we believe what we believe.

You could try to escalate this issue to the school’s principle, but I just think that would cause more harm than good.

yes,i also think so,that would cause more harm than good

What to do:

  1. Try to find board policy on the topic of religion. It should be online.
  2. Directly talk to the teacher. Never go straight to the school board. Anyone who does fails to understand chain of command.
  3. If that is not satisfactory, ask to speak to the assistant principal in charge of that grade or the building principal. Schedule an appointment, do not just show up.
  4. Have a historical handout explaining what actually happened.
  5. If not satisfied, go to the superintendent or assistant supt. and finally the school board.

In that order, and just so you know, I am a building principal in a public school…I’m…on break right now :o:o:D

Any particular reason you skipped the building principal and supt.

Probably because I was thinking of this as a curriculum issue rather than a disciplinary one (that’s why I suggested the department head). But you’re right, if you were going up the chain you’d go through the building administrators and central office.

OTOH, I live in a small town and it is not at all unusual to get phone calls at home from people who want to talk to their elected officials when they have an issue . . . .

challenge him in the same manner, courteous but insistent, and in a private meeting outside the presence of the students, to prove his contentions, the same way you would if he were teaching as fact other historical fallacies–what if he taught “men never landed on the moon it was faked for TV” or “the holocaust never happened it is Jewish propaganda” how would you react to that?

Having grown up the daughter of a public school teacher, I can tell you this much: This teacher is digging himself a deep, deep hole.
Public school teachers are forbidden to teach religion in the classroom. Stating a strictly Protestant (& not even mainstream, but evangelical pushing fundamentalist) theological viewpoint as historical fact, is a violation of the students’ right to freedom of religion under the constitution, and this teacher needs to hear that. Preferably from you, to start with, and from the administration and/or school board as needed.
The fact that he may believe what he is saying is immaterial. It’s the fact that he is saying it at all, that violates the law of the land.
He can say, “In my opinion”, but even that is pushing the envelope, and you would actually be doing the guy a favor by pointing this out to him, before you take the issue farther.
But I would make it clear that you can, and you will take it farther, unless he backtracks, apologizes for putting his own agenda forth as facts, and ceases. As of now.
Because I can tell you: He **is **breaking the law. And not a little one, like keeping your teacup poodle on a leash after 9 PM or something. This is a federal matter.

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