Sunday, April 3, 2016

Students Learning Religious Bigotry

From: Ashu M. G. Solo []
Sent: Sunday, April 3, 2016 4:01 AM
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Cc: '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>
Subject: Students Learning Religious Bigotry

Staff of Caronport Elementary School and Lindale Elementary School:

See this letter to the editor that I wrote entitled “Students learning religious bigotry” in The Journal Pioneer about Christian prayer recitations at Caronport Elementary School and Lindale Elementary School:

When I was in elementary school in Saskatoon, they had Christian prayer recitations.  Even though I’ve never been a Christian, in the early grades like kindergarten and grade 1, I thought everyone was supposed to say the prayer.  I didn’t even understand that it was a Christian prayer in the early grades like kindergarten and grade 1. 

You should have been and should still be informing the parents of every kid in your classes that there are Christian prayer recitations at your school and asking the parents if they want their kid to participate in them.  If not, you should be ensuring that the kids don’t recite the prayers. 

Didn’t you take any diversity training while studying education in university?  Didn’t you learn to respect the rights of minority students?  What right do you have to use a public elementary school to indoctrinate kids in Christianity? 

If parents want their kids to pray, they should be leading them in prayers.  If kids want to pray at school, they should be praying on their own.  Nobody is stopping them.  Nobody cares.  There is no need for prayer recitations at the school.

Just because the school community council and school division trustees have made a bigoted decision to have Christian prayer recitations, it doesn’t mean that you have to go along with it.  You should tune out the prayer recitations in your classroom if possible. 

One of you teachers needs to do the right and honorable thing for your students and stand up to the decision by the school division trustees and school community council by filing a human rights complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission because the Christian prayer recitation will discriminate against you too if you’re not Christian.  All you need to do is fill out the short intake questionnaire available here:

Furthermore, all of you need to be teaching your students that the prayer recitations forced upon the schools are discriminatory and bigoted like residential schools and segregation were, so that they don’t learn that it’s acceptable for Christians to discriminate against religious minorities and nonreligious people. 

You need to be teaching your students about the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  You need to be teaching your students about their right to file a human rights complaint about the prayer recitations and educating them in how to do so.  Little kids aren’t aware of their rights.  It’s your job to make sure they are.  A lot of adults aren’t even aware of their rights.  File a human rights complaint yourself.

When kids are subject to Christian prayer recitations at elementary schools, they get the message that Christianity is the religion of Canada and that they need to embrace Christianity to become fully accepted citizens and to achieve in Canadian society. 

I read in the newspaper that kids who don’t participate in the prayers are bullied by other kids who do.  The people forcing prayer recitations at the schools are causing this bullying.

The people supporting prayer recitations in public schools should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.  Parents entrust the schools with their kids for five days a week and people are abusing that trust to try to indoctrinate kids in Christianity. 

The majority cannot decide to violate the rights of the minority.  That’s not how a constitutional democracy works.  The Charter and human rights codes protect the rights of the minority from the discriminatory and bigoted will of the majority.

A Christian prayer recitation at a school is analogous to going to a restaurant where there is only one menu option and the restaurateur force feeds you with that single menu option.  Secularism is analogous to going to a restaurant and being able to eat whatever you want.  The former is suitable for some people.  The latter is suitable for all people.  Instead of fighting for some people, you should be fighting for all people.


Ashu M. G. Solo

From: Ashu M. G. Solo []
Sent: Friday, April 1, 2016 1:33 PM
To: '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>
Cc: '' <>; '' <>; '' <>; '' <>
Subject: Letter to the Editor: "Students Learning Religious Bigotry"

Prairie South School Division Trustees,

See this letter to the editor that I wrote about your decision to allow Christian prayer recitations at Lindale Elementary School and Caronport Elementary School:

Ashu M. G. Solo

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