Should children apologize as part of a class activity?

My child attends Catholic school and is in 5th grade. The class is preparing for confirmation and they did an activity in school recently that makes me uncomfortable. The children were asked to sit in a circle, surrounding a crucifix. Each child took a turn going to the center of the circle, holding the cross and apologizing to another classmate for some sort of injustice.

I’d like to bring my concerns to the teacher, a religious sister, but I’d like a bit of help. This sort of public confession seems inappropriate, especially in a Catholic school. This wasn’t a reconciliation service where a priest was present, but a classroom activity. Your thoughts and assistance are welcomed. Thank you!

I’m sorry, but I don’t understand why such an activity would cause discomfort and you haven’t really explained your concerns about it either. Encouraging children to apologize to each other for offenses is not an inappropriate activity for Christians. Granted, there could be some guidance offered in how to do so in an appropriate way, which could be accomplished by the teacher first apologizing to the class for some offense of hers to give the children a pattern to follow (e.g., “I am very sorry I lost my temper the other day and kept you all inside during recess; I will try to be more patient in the future”), but it may be that the teacher did do something like this. Even if she did not, I can’t really see a cause for complaint to the school about the activity.

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