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Old 05-13-2009, 03:48 AM
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,280,584 times
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There's a thread on the Christianity forum about Catholic schools and I was curious to know how Atheists felt about sending their kids to a Catholic School and/or a private school that was religiously based.

I can honestly say that because I live in Mississippi, which seems to be making a rather strong effort at providing the worst school system in the USA, I would feel very compelled to send my kids to a private school. In fact, I would probably try to do everything in my power to send them to one.

I also realize that because I'm in Mississippi, the only private schools available are religiously based. There's a Catholic school not far from my house and also an S.B.E.C school which I think stands for "Southern Baptist Educational Center."

Personally, my feelings are that I wouldn't send my kids to a Southern Baptist 'anything' in a million years.

I'm not fond of the Catholic Church either but I feel I would rather send my kids to a Catholic school than make them suffer at the hands of the public school system in Mississippi.

My question is:

Would you be completely against ever sending your kids to a private school of religious origins if that was the only option available aside from crappy public schools? I don't have kids but I thought it might be an interesting topic to talk about.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:31 AM
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I don't have kids either so answering this question is all hypothetical to me but I am probably like you Troop in that if the choices were a bad or average public system vs good private catholic or private other religions I'd probably go with the Catholic school.

Recently my sister in law was looking for schools for my oldest niece and one of the options was a seemingly excellent school that happened to be run by Scientologists. I had all my fingers and toes crossed that she'd come up with a better option for my niece. Thankfully she did and found an excellent public school in the area.

It's a tough call.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:34 AM
Location: Western Cary, NC
4,349 posts, read 6,622,281 times
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A secular private school yes, a Catholic school never.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:01 AM
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,029,139 times
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My entire schooling was in private Catholic Schools. I was an Atheist when I went in and an Atheist when I went out.

I would have no problem sending my kids to a private Catholic School if it was Academically much better ( which they usually are) and not one of the old school type of establishments.

I think the crucial thing is to ensure your child is a questioning challenging human being BEFORE they hit school. You have to teach them to think for themselves and to be indivuduals by the time they are ready for school or they can become prey to people's prejudices and dogma.

My Father ( an Atheist) taught me pretty much from birth to challenge and question received wisdom ( including his own) and also exposed me to so many religions and philosophies so that when I reached Catholic school I was already ruined for endoctrination !

I always refused to pray and though I would attend catechism I never fully participated ( my Dad was generous enough to the school for them to realise the side their bread was buttered ! ) .
I used to have interesting theological discussions with the Nuns about other religions and also used to try and muddy the waters for the other girls by telling them about Shinto or Animism. It was really good fun and hopefully I may have made some think twice about their own beliefs.

I actually really enjoyed my years in boarding school, it was very strict but also my Father chose much more progressive schools for me, Catholic schools with a reputation for being more modern. The vast majority of the nuns and priests were lovely and I never had any negative experience to speak of, the only thing I missed was boys ! We used to have mixed socials though.

Mixed sex schools are better in my opinion as it is more natural and encourages a better social interaction ( I found many Catholic school boys could be a bit odd towards girls because of never interacting with them). I was lucky as pretty much all my friends back home were boys so I never had a problem with them.

Ideally though I would send my Kids to a Quaker school, brilliant academically, they also encourage inidviduality, and a great sense of social responsibility.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:05 AM
4,512 posts, read 6,733,642 times
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a generous reconciles the unenlightened masses. excuse my french!
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:09 AM
Location: Wisconsin
521 posts, read 807,318 times
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I don't have any children yet, as long as I don’t have a problem with the public schools near me I will have no problem sending them to a public school.

Although I currently live in Milwaukee, and if I am still here if/when I have children I will not be enrolling them in the public school system. As far as private schools go, I would try to find a non religious one if I could. If there was absolutely no way around it, I would probably pick a Catholic school over some of the others.

Irregardless (that one is for you coos ) of what kind of school they go to I will always encourage them to have an open mind, and question what they are taught.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:53 AM
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,732,234 times
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I live on a small island in the Pacific ocean. The public schools are terrible, the private schools aren't a lot better. So I send my oldest son to a Catholic school here, and homeschool him like he wasn't going to school at all. (He's only 6)
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:56 AM
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 14,195,862 times
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My solution to this issue is to just not have children. I went to a private Christian school from 7th through 12th grade, and enjoyed it. Granted, at the time I was a Christian, and that particular school has become more conservative since I went there. The problem is, the education I received there was no better than the marginal public schools in the area. In fact, in some ways, it wasn't as thorough. I imagine it would have been a rather uncomfortable experience for an atheist, or it could have been very interesting, depending on what you make of it.

I suppose I might send my child to a private religious school if I knew he or she would receive a superior education. However, I'd certainly hope to first instill in my child the idea of independent thought. I'd want my child to know to question everything he or she was being taught, regardless of the school, and to come to his or her own conclusions.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:45 AM
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,056,954 times
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If I had children, I would home school before I would send to a religious school.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:37 PM
Location: Up in the air
19,121 posts, read 26,701,092 times
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After attending a graduation ceremony for a private Christian School 2 years ago, I would NEVER EVER enroll my child in a religious institution. The teacher who was voted on by the students to give the commencement speech compared non-believers to saddam hussein and Hitler. All of the speeches given by teachers/students were a little out there and some hate a tinge of 'hate' to them.

As a gesture of politeness, I covered up my tattoos (full sleeve and half sleeve) during the ceremony, but as soon as it was over, I rolled up my sleeves and actually had a teacher come up to me (this was afterward, in the parking lot) and ask me to cover them up as they were 'scaring the children, and not very godlike'.... I don't have any bad images, it's all flowers and birds but I smiled and said 'being godlike isn't high on my list of priorities'.

Never again.
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