Such a classic!
A friend just told me of an incident at a school she taught at:
An irate parent rang the school to complain,
“How dare you teach my child that Jesus died from eating a hot-cross bun!”
A long process followed, assuring the parent that this was highly unlikely. Finally the parent was able to see that maybe, just maybe, her junior primary schooler may have misunderstood what was actually taught.
All school teachers can tell you tales of such parents: parents who come in blazing, first assuming it’s the school’s fault, before ever considering it could ever be their beloved child’s mistake.
This story highlights for me three things:
1) What we teach isn’t always what they learn.
Let’s not automatically blame the teachers.
2) We, teachers and parents, have to cross check, reinforce and review what’s being taught.
One lesson does not a whole mindset make. Parents can always cross-check and reinforce their view, and actually have the strongest influence on their kids’ mindsets anyway.
3) We don’t have to be defensive about religious ed, any more than other subjects.
Because, like any subject, it should be carefully but openly discussed, and even if a student misinterprets, it can always be sorted out. This is far better than ignorance.
Far better to teach and then have to straighten out kinks, than to ignore the topic entirely.
Especially in today’s pluralist world.