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Old 02-22-2012, 10:22 AM   #21
ktmelody
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I would not be happy. Lent is most certainly a religious holiday. Its one thing to say we are going to give something up, but the 40 days leading to easter is a religious time of prayer and fasting.......it has to do with god, prayer etc....so I dont know why it would even be brought up in a public school at all.

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Old 02-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #22
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Re: Public School/lent - how should I feel?

I'm Catholic and I would be concerned about the whole "Live it up" comment. Whether or not you observe Lent, this is definitely not the message that should be given to young children. Often times, what you give up during Lent is something harmful to your person or your relationship with the Lord. I know it's the message of Mardi Gras, but to tell small children to gorge themselves so they can deprive themselves later is craziness! I would definitely say something (to the principal) at least about the message they are sending to these small children. I would be tactful, but firm.

I wouldn't want my child learning about religion from a public school, but maybe that's just me
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:26 AM   #23
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Oh and it isnt just catholics that do lent.

Methodists, lutherans, protestants, anglicans and presbyterians do I believe, all other xtian sects do not.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:02 AM   #24
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Re: Public School/lent - how should I feel?

I am Episcopalian and we celebrate lent. If I wasn't hurling my guts out today I'd be going to Ash Wednesday service. Anyways, I would actually be upset if that's what my kids were doing in public school. Lent is a religious thing, and although Mardis Gras/Fat Tuesday may be secularly celebrated, Lent is not. I know plenty of people who stuff their faces with paczkis and pancakes, go to mardi gras parties, etc, but then those same people don't do anything with lent. I think I'd be a little upset too and I would talk to the principal for sure.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:03 AM   #25
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Re: Public School/lent - how should I feel?

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Originally Posted by ktmelody View Post
Oh and it isnt just catholics that do lent.

Methodists, lutherans, protestants, anglicans and presbyterians do I believe, all other xtian sects do not.
yup, the more liturgical denominations celebrate lent. I know that most born again denominations, penticostal, evangelical, mennonite, etc do not.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:24 PM   #26
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Re: Public School/lent - how should I feel?

I would suggest calling and nicely speaking with the Principal to find out what exactly was said & why the children are being encouraged to give up something for Lent.

Lent isn't necessarily about giving up possessions. I think Wikipedia says it well "The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial."

As a Catholic, we try to emphasize living life in a positive manner. To do this, however, we will give up some things in our present lifestyle. Here's some suggestions for ‘give-up’ List that were emailed to me by a friend:

∙ Give up bitterness: turn to forgiveness.
∙ Give up hatred; return good for evil.
∙ Give up negativism; be positive.
∙ Give up complaining; be grateful.
∙ Give up pessimism; be an optimist.
∙ Give up harsh judgments; think kindly thoughts.
∙ Give up worry; trust divine providence.
∙ Give up discouragement; be full of hope.
∙ Give up anger; be more patient.
∙ Give up pettiness; be more mature.
∙ Give up gloom; enjoy the beauty around you.
∙ Give up jealousy; pray for trust.
∙ Give up gossiping; control your thoughts.
∙ Give up sin; turn to virtue.

Most people would not argue that changing our actions in the above way, would be positive for anyone.

However, giving up pancakes or apple juice or something just for the sake of giving it up, does not truly reflect on the season of Lent.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #27
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Re: Public School/lent - how should I feel?

I haven't read all the comments, but I too was suprised when my kindergarten kid came home today and told me we couldn't have meat today as it's Ash wednesday. We are kinda relaxed Catholic, DH more so than me, kids baptized etc but I won't push for communion and all that. We did have pancakes for dinner yesterday as it is a culturel tradition in my home country(with sugar and lemon!yum).

I am suprised that the school even mentioned it and can see how some parents would be more than ticked by this. I know our k teacher is catholic due to other things at Christmas.

Having said that, they also celebrate and mention other cultures and traditions and I'm fine with that too. I suppose they are trying to teach the kids a bit of everything.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:45 PM   #28
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Re: Public School/lent - how should I feel?

Oh, and the pancake tradition came from using up all the flour etc before lent. It's not that you give up pancakes, but rather to use up your goods before lent.

And as pp said, it's not always about giving up, you can also choose to do something good. We used to give up sweets/candies as kids, keep any stuff in a box and then go crazy at Easter!
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:14 PM   #29
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Re: Public School/lent - how should I feel?

Hi there!

This is a very interesting discussion and I like all of the opinions voiced.

I am another that is very surprised the teacher did this w/ her students. I don't think that this should have been done in your son's classsroom. Keep in mind that a PP said that your son might have left out some important details about what else was done but as it stands I would be unhappy.

I would go in to ask the teacher to tell you about what was done yesterday. I have no problem w/ a teacher discussing what Fat Tuesday and Lent are but I don't think they should celebrate those dates. The thing is it is only certain holidays that celebrated at certain schools and it is unfair. How would people feel about their child celebrating Ramadan in a PS or Passover? Some people are going to say I am fine w/ it but others aren't. In all of my yrs in PS we NEVER celebrated Passover or Ramadan. We probably never even spoke of Ramadan.

I also have a problem w/ Santa and Christmas trees in the PS classroom. They are used as a sort of secular way to get you to celebrate a religious holiday. It is part of this marketing campaign to get as many people as possible in on the Christmas holiday shopping. My husband is a Christian and he will tell you that our family celebrates Christmas but we have never put up a Christmas tree or bought presents for our DDers.

As to the comment that it is great to give up something to make you healthier or do something for someone (like volunteering). Awesome, I am all for it but not to tie it into Lent. Do it any other month and I will fully support it. Likewise I don't want my child to be encouraged to get into the Christmas spirit by purchasing a toy for a needy child. We are happy to buy a toy for a needy child in February or any other month where it won't be linked to a religious holiday.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:30 PM   #30
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Re: Public School/lent - how should I feel?

Thank you all. I plan to talk with my sister more (and fill her in on the pancake thing!) and I think we'll go together to talk to the principal, not as a mob but just as two moms trying to figure out what our kids are talking about.

The meatless friday thing interested me so I got out ds's school lunch menu. The Friday lunch choices are: Meatless garden salad with cheese and breadstick, cheese pizza, PB&j The next week is Veggie wrap, vegetarian salad, PB&J. I don't have March's menu yet but apparently they are going meatless. My son usually packs or goes for the pizza any way but I am bother by this. Honestly, even given my Christian faith I don't want the schools telling my son that Jesus died on a cross and 3 days later rose again. That is MY job to teach him what we believe. I really need to talk to the school tomorrow, I don't want too much time to go by. Thanks for all the thoughts, opinions, and information.
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