Not Celebrating Any Holidays in School?

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Not Celebrating Any Holidays in School?

Kim! Kim!
My son's Pre-K does not celebrate any holidays at all. There's no Halloween party, no mention of birthdays, or anything pertaining to any sort of celebration. They're reasoning is that they don't want to exclude kids who do not celebrate them and they want to teach children about different cultures. I'm confused how they are teaching kids about different cultures when they don't celebrate any holidays when that is probably one of the easiest things to get young children into.

I get the whole not sending treats to school since there are some very severe allergies out there and schools are trying to encourage healthy eating. I'm fine with that. I also wouldn't object to only being able to send healthy store bought things with any allergies taken into consideration but that isn't an option. I'm a mean mother and buy a lot of healthy stuff and not very much junk anyways.

As for the holidays, I'd actually really like it if my son was given an introduction to a variety of holidays from many different cultures. I think that children should be taught acceptance at a young age and ignoring them does not seem to be very effective at teaching children that there are all different ways of doing things, including celebrating. Then again, I remember the Jehovah's Witness kids in my school who weren't allowed to do anything pertaining to holidays. I would imagine that it really wasn't that fun for them at all.

What are your thoughts? Is society becoming too afraid of offending someone or should holidays be left for family mention and celebration only?

Are the days of seeing orange pumpkins in classroom windows and bulletin boards coming to an end?
10/28/2010
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Envy Envy
That's very sad an unfortunate. It was like that the later half of my school days. But even now in the workplace my place can't even decorate or anything anymore. We used to have a small tree and such, now we can't, corporate said no. Wtf?
10/28/2010
Kim! Kim!
Quote:
Originally posted by Envy
That's very sad an unfortunate. It was like that the later half of my school days. But even now in the workplace my place can't even decorate or anything anymore. We used to have a small tree and such, now we can't, corporate said no. Wtf?
That's super-lame! I work at a really large well-known place and we still get to decorate. Halloween is a REALLY big deal there too, people go nuts. I'd be so sad if they took it all away.
10/28/2010
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Too bad they couldn't just learn about it and not feel obligated to celebrate it; but, if kids and candy are involved, they'll prolly want to celebrate it.
10/28/2010
Darling Jen Darling Jen
I can sorta, kinda, maybe see their reasoning on why... But it's still just super disappointing to me. That's the best way to engage children on learning about other cultures - celebration! Let's face it, reading about other people in books for a 5-8 year old just doesn't titilate like doing something does.
10/28/2010
Illusional Illusional
Quote:
Originally posted by Darling Jen
I can sorta, kinda, maybe see their reasoning on why... But it's still just super disappointing to me. That's the best way to engage children on learning about other cultures - celebration! Let's face it, reading about other people in ...
At my school, all holidays were a big deal. So when Winter came around, we did Christmas and all the other winter holidays. We ate different snacks and treats, learned traditional songs, even put on little plays. We had a diverse amount of culture and the kids who couldn't participate in Halloween or Christmas it was nice seeing their side and letting them in on the fun.
10/28/2010
Darling Jen Darling Jen
Quote:
Originally posted by Illusional
At my school, all holidays were a big deal. So when Winter came around, we did Christmas and all the other winter holidays. We ate different snacks and treats, learned traditional songs, even put on little plays. We had a diverse amount of culture ...
That's so wonderful. I honestly think more holiday sharing should happen in my area. The Bible Belt of the south gets all smothering with Christmas and Easter but then gets very defensive when anyone tries to be inclusive with Hanukkah, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, Eid, Rosh Hashanah, Kwanzaa, etc.
10/28/2010
Alicia Alicia
My kids' school celebrates Holidays in the sense that they learn about them, but anything that is an actual celebration they make more about the Season rather than the Holiday. Like, the Halloween party is a "Fall Celebration" and in December it's a "Winter Festival" to include all the different Holidays that are celebrated that month. In the Spring it'll be a "Spring Celebration" rather than talking about Easter and Passover and all that. Our school still celebrates Birthdays though, but we can only bring in packaged treats so that there is an official ingredient list.

I personally think it's better that way, it allows the kids to learn about the different Holidays without making them feel like everyone celebrates the same ones that they do. When I was a kid everything was about the Christian Holidays and those only. I was raised Christian so seeing that in school and outside of school I thought that was the only thing there was. It wasn't until High School that I made friends with people who were Jewish and Jehovah's Witnesses and learned about their cultures and Holidays..or lack of Holidays. And, now that I'm nontheist I actually get really tired of hearing about Christmas in the religious sense because it's everywhere and people often forget that not everyone is Christian and also all the Pagan roots in Christmas.
10/28/2010
J's Alley J's Alley
Quote:
Originally posted by Kim!
My son's Pre-K does not celebrate any holidays at all. There's no Halloween party, no mention of birthdays, or anything pertaining to any sort of celebration. They're reasoning is that they don't want to exclude kids who do not ...
A lot of schools do it...you ought to ask if you can do a "winter" party instead of a christmas or holiday party. It is more common than you realize...you're not alone.
10/28/2010
Jessica Elizabeth Jessica Elizabeth
I think children should be educated about different holidays, but I agree with not celebrating them. Considering how diverse beliefs are it can be offensive to be forced to celebrate a holiday you don't believe in, and it's the same if you have to sit out and watch everybody else have a party.

Being a strictly non-Judeo-Christian household we'd be very upset if any of our children (if we had them) were forced to celebrate holidays that are outside of our belief structure. I'd be just as upset, if not more, if my children had to sit out and watch other's having a party.

Birthdays, I can see celebrating that at home. I know a few people who don't celebrate their birthdays, so if a child didn't celebrate theirs it'd be wrong to force some sort of acknowledgment or celebration on them.
10/28/2010
Chilipepper Chilipepper
I had attended quite a few progressive schools back in the '80's (the type that actually taught critical thinking and problem solving), and there was quite a bit of cultural education through holidays and class-speakers. We've been taught flameco dancing, how to make latkes, and the historical myths of African tribes. We still had the traditional Halloween and Christmas parties, but I don't recall anyone objecting to them because we didn't have to do school work and we got treats out of it. I was thoroughly disappointed in adult authority when I moved to Florida and was told 'we don't have holiday parties at school'. I think it's the suppressive nature of the South in general.

Kids are a lot more open-minded than we give them credit for.
10/28/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Kim!
My son's Pre-K does not celebrate any holidays at all. There's no Halloween party, no mention of birthdays, or anything pertaining to any sort of celebration. They're reasoning is that they don't want to exclude kids who do not ...
The problem is many parents DO care about what little Johnny or Suzie is taught about others. Either they don't want their lil hellions to be taught anything or they want their particular views to be of paramount importance. The real answer is our school system is broken and this is yet another symptom of the infection.
10/28/2010
Kim! Kim!
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
I had attended quite a few progressive schools back in the '80's (the type that actually taught critical thinking and problem solving), and there was quite a bit of cultural education through holidays and class-speakers. We've been taught ...
Yes! This is awesome! I am so jealous of your school! I don't mean that the holidays have to be religions, just more of a "this is what other cultures do" type of thing. I had a book when I was younger, I wish I could find it, that explained what a whole bunch of cultures and religions do around the Christmas season. I remember reading that quite a few times because it was interesting to me.

I believe that if we encourage that open-mindedness in children then hopefully it can extend into adulthood and create fewer problems in society. I don't believe everything will be a perfect Utopian world or anything but I think it could solve a few things.
10/28/2010
Danielle1220 Danielle1220
No halloween party at my son's school anymore, they just started that this year. They also cut out the christmas parties. I think its horrible. The school's reasoning is that they don't want the candy in school since they changed all the school's food menus and stuff. My son was very disappointed, as I'm sure most kids are. I don't see whats wrong with letting the kids have candy...but if thats the only problem, they should enforce a strict rule that says no candy, and give a list to parents that decide to contribute to the food of food that would be acceptable.
10/28/2010
gone77 gone77
I don't believe that schools should have to be obligated to celebrate anything. However, if the kids were in agreement on what they wanted to celebrate, why not let them on occasion?

Only thing I take issue with is religious holidays. Public schools fall under separation of church and state (though it's regrettably rarely enforced) and I believe any religious celebrations should be in the home or places of religion (like church).
10/28/2010
Total posts: 15
Unique posters: 12