This interesting seasonal story made me think – do teachers have to lie to keep their jobs? Do they have to pretend to believe in Santa, tooth fairies, bogeymen, Narnia, angels, Jesus, Allah and God. The parents of one tearful child explained that the teacher had said this because of her religion. In other words, her actual truth (Santa doesn’t exist was trumped by the view that her religious views were false).
In England state schools have to teach Religious Studies by law. In other words it is decreed that teachers must lie, as they cannot logically all be true. In fact, they are by definition a range of relativist beliefs, the tragedy being that their believers are absolutist in their convictions. Even worse the law states that Christianity must have a prominent position in all this. In other words, let’s tell lots of lies but we have one lie that needs more time than the others.
If this wasn’t bad enough a daily act of worship is also mandated by law, with a 51% bias towards Christianity. Thankfully, the great majority of schools, as reported by Ofsted, simply ignore this law. It would seem that legally mandating the daily chanting of lies is a step too far for most people.
What a mess. The lesson here, I suspect, is that education should be secular and that religion is a matter of personal belief and has no role in schools, as it causes more problems and contradictions than it’s worth. Religious education is a farce. It needs to be replaced by Philosophy which takes a more ‘educational’ approach to such issues.
The teacher wasn’t sacked; she was a substitute teacher who is still registered. The school, in Manchester, simply said they wouldn’t use her again.