I had a discussion with my sister two days ago, who is becoming increasingly alarmed with the public school her children (aged 7 & 5) attend.
The reason this conversation came up is because it is "Christmas time" again and it seems as though every yeard, the "C" word becomes almost as bad as actually swear words.
The kids are having their annual "holiday" concert, with a "holiday" tree and "holiday" songs. Yes, there will be no "Silent Night" or "Little Drummer Boy", but "Rudolph" and "Frosty" are okay. Also, the holiday concert will be chalk full of traditional pakistani songs and dances, chinese songs and dances, caribean songs and dances, but NO "C"-word.
A few minutes away is a Roman Catholic school. As you pass it, the first thing you see is Christmas decorations. A "CHRISTMAS' tree, CHRISTMAS cards, and the kids will actually have a CHRISTMAS concert, where they will actually sing, yes, you guessed it... CHRISTMAS carols.
I remember, growing up IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM in Toronto that singing CHRISTMAS carols was one of my fondest memories. While this was not a Serbian Orthodox tradition, I feel as though it brought me to love Christmas and not just because of the material items of Christmas.
When the little drummer boy sang about being a "poor boy to" and "having no gifts to bring", it meant something to me, about our belief in Christ. Aren't my sister's children being deprived of something so wonderful?
I understand that the purpose of a secular education is not focused on Christ, but it seems as though the public system is almost teaching that Christ is bad.
The flip side of all of this is that the public school ACTUALLY performs better than the local RC school and has MUCH smaller class size. What do you guys think she should do?
Her 7 year old daughter is ultra bright (she's already advanced one grade) and my sister does not want to deprive her of a good education, but does she really want to expose her to this anti-Christian lean in the local public school?
I put this in the Catholic-Orthodox discussion, because I wanted to also get some opinions about the permissibility of an OC to go to a RC school. If Dan or anyone else thinks it should be moved out, please feel free.