My teacher invited me to her church

My extremely amazing teacher knows I am having a really hard time with life. She offered to take me to her non-denominational church. I really want to go and I am hoping to get closer to this teacher. I am not Catholic yet, and I really want to go. My parents won’t want me to, but that is a whole another story. Would it be Ok for me to go just this once? Just to clarify. I would not go if my parents don’t allow me. I think I might be able to convince them to let me go.

We cannot advise you to disobey your parents if you are a minor.

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Your parents may have perfectly good reasons. They may not know the teacher well enough to trust her. They may think it is not appropriate for a student to, as you wrote, get closer to a teacher.

There are also child-protection laws about this. In my community, it is not permitted for a teacher to meet a student under the age of 18 outside of school. This includes online communications (messaging, following, friending). College and university teachers may be bound by professional ethics rules to the same effect for students of any age.

Therefore my advice is that you do not go to her church or try to talk your parents into allowing it.

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If you know your parents would be against it, why would you think it’s a good idea?

I don’t understand why you would want to go to this church anyway. Your teacher offering to take you to her church is really out of line as far as I am concerned. I would be upset if one of my children came home from school and said their teacher invited them to her church. Not cool. . . .

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It’s not appropriate for this teacher to have invited you to her church, no matter how good her intentions are. As @Beryllos has said, it’s a safeguarding issue. Certainly you should not try to persuade your parents into letting you go.

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Invite her to your church with your parents instead. But make sure your parents are ok with it first.

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  1. You’re a minor. You need to do what your parents say. We cannot advise you otherwise.

  2. From a totally secular standpoint, regardless of what church we’re discussing, it’s not appropriate for a teacher to be taking you on outings that don’t directly relate to a class assignment or project, and for any trip off the school grounds she should be going through the proper channels to clear it with the school and getting permission from your parents first. I’m sure the school has a protocol for this, and for good reasons.

  3. If you are having a hard time with life, and the teacher wants to help, she should be referring you to a counseling resource or perhaps reaching out to your parents directly, not inviting you to a church (any church).

  4. You wanting to “get closer to this teacher” is a bit of a red flag. It’s not a great idea to be pursuing a close relationship with a teacher outside of your interactions in school. The teacher should also realize this is not a good idea for many reasons, and put the brakes on.

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Yes, this would be acceptable as she’d be interacting with the whole family including your parents, not just interacting with you one on one.

This ^^^^^

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As much as you might want to go with this teacher I advise against it. The Truth is in the Catholic Church which is the Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself. All other churches were founded by men/women not the Son of God. No other Church has the solid 3 legged stool of Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, the Magisterium.

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I looked at just one post from the OP’s past.

OP,

With the troubles you have been having, I wouldn’t want to add another church! Just tell the teacher that your parents don’t want you to go…I’m assuming that it’s still true.

Also, since I can’t discern your age from what I saw, I’m not advising you to go against parents rules…forum guidelines, and my own.

As others have already advised you, this is inappropriate and unprofessional. A teacher is a professional person and should be aware of appropriate professional boundaries. Offering to take you to church with her crosses those boundaries in several ways. I also work in a profession in which we have to respect appropriate boundaries. It would not occur to me to offer to take a client to church with me.

Boundaries in professional relationships exist to protect both parties, but mostly they exist to protect the more vulnerable party, i.e. a student, client, patient, etc. There are so many risks involved in this sort of thing. The most obvious risk is grooming, but there are other risks that are less obvious but also more common. For example, if you become emotionally involved with your teacher and begin to see her outside of school, this could affect how effectively you are able to interact at school. Your teacher’s first responsibility is to teach you at school, not to become your friend or influence your spiritual life. Furthermore, when professional people become too involved with vulnerable people, there is always a very real risk that the professional will at some point choose to reduce their involvement or withdraw from the relationship entirely, which invariably has a devastating impact on the vulnerable person. I have seen this happen with teachers and students, doctors/nurses and patients, social workers and clients, etc.

Personally, I’d also suggest that your parents should have a word with the principal or another person in authority at your school. This isn’t to get your teacher into trouble, but to protect her from the risk of getting into trouble in the future. Much better that she gets some friendly advice now than that she ends up losing her job some time in the future.

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I probably should clarify this again, but she is not my teacher anymore and I am not one of her students, I just know her.

That doesn’t really change anything. It doesn’t matter if you are currently a student of hers or not.

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Indeed, unless the teacher is a family friend or similar already this is unprofessional. Even then teachers often shy away from being along with kids of family friends if they attend a school they teach in until they are adults. One of my favourite teachers at school was Anglican and we would discuss faith differences and poetry and a host of other things but we were well aware we had reached the edge of acceptability and much as we shared common interests we never pursued those chats for more than a short while or when I helped him set up a class or in similar situations. I however do still have several books of poetry he gave me, one of Keats, one of Shelley, one of Coleridge.

The nearest any teachers came to being personally involved was in the last year at school when my mother died and some of them helped us plan her funeral arrangements and spoke at it. A couple knew her in her capacity as a nurse as she had helped nurse family members of theirs through final illnesses. The nuns connected with the school also knew her in this capacity and several of them who were teachers came to the funeral home. But those are very exceptional circumstances. Teachers were not encouraged to socialize with pupils and highly discouraged from doing so. One teacher in his mid 20’s married a pupil just as she left school and when it emerged they had been dating it nearly cost him his job.

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I don’t think it’s appropriate for a teacher to be taking a student to her church. If she had invited the whole family to come to her church, that’s one thing, but to invite just the student seems really off base.

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