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Thread: Should students be exempt from religion in catholic high schools?

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    Default Should students be exempt from religion in catholic high schools?

    Catholic schools: Ontario parents fighting to have children exempt from religious studies | Toronto Star

    My opinion? I'm catholic, my children go to catholic schools. I wish that the religion class was mandatory in the early high school grades only. Say for grade nine and ten, similar to french? I know most people will disagree and say just send them to public school but in my area the choices are a brand new catholic high school or Lucas as the public high school. My oldest son went there and tells me all the time about all the drugs etc. It's an older facility and it's pretty crowded. Not that it's the only school of course that has problems like that. My younger son's friends were going to the catholic school and it's a beautiful facility. I'd prefer for him to take more academic courses or electives that will better prepare him for post secondary.

    What's your opinion?
    Leslie




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    Im not at all religious, but I do think if Your child is going to go to a Catholic Highschool, religion should be mandatory until Grade 10, like you said. I think going into grade 11, you are more likely able to make that choice for yourself.

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    I think it's important for grade nine or ten because I think they focus more on religion in general versus catholicism and it's good for them to be exposed to that so it's not like I don't want them to take it at all. It's just that since they have eliminated grade 13 that's 4 courses over the four years that are taken up with religion. Great to keep it as an optional course for those who are interested in taking it all the way through but having it mandatory seems a bit excessive.

    Where I do think it's too much is asking for exemptions from the school masses etc. that everyone participates in. It's a community thing and if you are that opposed to the religious aspect then perhaps public school is a better option. I'm not opposed to the religious parts at all, I just worry that he'll be at a disadvantage academically by missing out on other opportunities with those 4 religion courses.
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    No I don't think it should be mandatory. Lots of kids are put in catholic school because their parents are religious but they are not. I think kids should get to choose in regards to their religion.
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    I don't think the classes should be mandatory but I do think that they should have to participate in the activities surrounding religion. If you go to a Catholic school you should have to take part in what everyone takes part in. Isn't religion World Religions in grade 9 or 10? I don't remember being taught about a relationship with God/Jesus. More the facts, I think.

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    As a non-catholic who went to a catholic high school -- Religion was an awesome class. Easy way to bump up your average, good discussion and debated. I wasn't treated any differently being a non-catholic/non-christian.

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    I took grade 9 religion and got an exemption from grade 10 onwards because it was conflicting with my personal religious beliefs. I did go on 2 OAC retreats though and participated in all masses. I appreciated having the exemption because it allowed me to explore other courses I wouldn't have had room for in my schedule otherwise.

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    If Catholic high schools funded their schools without using any government funds, any tax dollars, or any money from general citizens, then sure! Force it , all the time, any time! whatever.
    But since it's publicly funded, nope.

    Of course the first impulse is to say they should have to, because it's a catholic school -- but it's true that often people force their kids to go there, who aren't religious themselves; or that people choose those schools, not because it is Catholic, but because it is newer, or closer, or has a better reputation, or a better program, or something. And if we're funding it, why should it matter if it's called Catholic -- anyone should be able to go, and anyone should be able to choose their classes.

    (fwiw I think it should also be that anyone can attend elementary catholic schools, until such time as they stop accepting tax dollars)
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    I have a different view then everyone else, but oh well.
    I don't think there should be Catholic schools government funded at all, so if the government is going to waste thousands every year on having a separate board then yes, everyone should have to take religion so there is at least something different about it. If religion is optional (I know you can be exempt from the masses, etc for personal reasons) then what is different about Catholic school then public? Why are we paying for something that is said to be different, but isn't?

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    No, they should not be mandatory unless you make religion in public schools a required course.
    Plus, I think all religions should be discussed in this course, not just the Catholic religion.

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    I went to Catholic schools; my kids go to public. I believe when I was in school it became optional after grade 10..or maybe it was you had a choice of what course you took...I forget. I do know I took a World Religions class in grade 12 which was the most interesting religion class I ever took. To answer the question, no, religion shouldn't be mandatory and it shouldn't be publicly funded. I can't understand how it continues to receive public funding when every other sort of religious school is private, as it should be. There is no doubt in my mind that it is discriminatory. Funding one over any others is shameful. Plainly wrong.
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    Not touching this with a 10 foot pole.

    Yes it is government funded, but that funding comes feom our tax dollars. We as tax paying citizens can designate where those funds are directed, public or separate.
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    I question the concept of having religion as its own course. In university you can choose to study many religions, if you choose. But in public grade schools topics such as Heath and Social Studies are incorporated into language class. So, to learn about medieval times you are going to be doing read alouds, independent reading selections, and shared reading, then you will be doing writing, etc.

    I think if someone chooses to go to a religious school then that religion(s) should be incorporated into certain courses, such as Langauge, rather than being a stand-alone course. That would of course be harder for teachers in other provinces where they allow anyone of any religion (the 3 book religions), or Windsor where they allow anyone just so they can stop everyone from running from their board - as they would have many forms of god to be incorporated. But independent research studies on a choice of religion, reading/writing, presenting.

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    I think the boards should be merged, but anyway...
    I'm Catholic and went to public school for both elementary and high school. No issues that me or my family had, we were and are religious and practiced our faith in our home and at church.
    DD1 is our only child in school so far. We put her in JK and SK in the public board b/c it was a walkable school (half a block from our home) and she knew many kids from community activities in the neighbourhood. We also wanted to support the school b/c it was in an ARC process and was potentially closing. TVDSB voted to close it after this school year so we had to make a choice. We did not want the chaos of her going to the new "merged/renovated" school and also didn't like the location. She would be bused anyway so we chose to put her in Catholic FI. For high school DH and I are fine with our kids deciding if they want to go to either Public or Catholic. That said, if kids are in Catholic I believe that a religion course should be mandatory. What's the point of having a separate school system? Also, IME the Catholic high school which was only blocks from our Public high school had just as many, if not more drug and pregnancy issues than our's. But DH (who is not Catholic) and I are still learning about the separate board b/c I knew very little about it not having gone.

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    I think it should be mandatory for grade 9 & 10 but the curriculum should be social issues and world focused as opposed to traditional religion. A broad based look at religion, spirituality and it's place in history and world religions would be great. With the 4 year system, students need the flexibility in gr 11 & 12 for other interests. The school board and the catholic church are already separating religious learning from school and church and I think this is a natural progression. For example, not all Catholic elementary schools prepare students for the sacraments, at some schools it is the parents' responsibility to sign up their children at the church for the classes and arrange for the sacraments. The church is also having difficulty getting gr 8 students to do the sacrament of confirmation because students are more aware of their choices and the meaning of the sacraments, and parents aren't 'forcing' their children to do the sacrament. It is only a matter of time before the school boards merge (which is a good thing), I think it will happen within the next 10 years. **I have a new computer and my enter key won't work.** I will have to look up how to fix that issue - LOL!

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