We’ve been sharing examples of schools that have assembly prayers or creeds with religious references.
It should be clear to everyone that has followed us for a while that parents are largely on their own if they want to effect changes and make their school inclusive of everyone.
Here are the thoughts of one parent who is trying to have her school remove the prayer from assembly.
We feel it is beautifully written and we have permission to share it with you in the hope that you will be inspired to take action yourself.
How you approach a school is important too, so please feel free to contact us if you want any assistance.
What is a creed and what is it for?
It’s defined as a set of beliefs or aims which guides someone’s actions. A statement of intention, toward which one would strive. It is an affirmation of that which an individual, or team, would choose as their goal for their time together. Something which unites a group with an intended common goal or outcome from their work and time together.
When a school invokes a creed, who should it represent?
A school is a diverse group of people. Adults and children. Educators, and students. It also includes parents, siblings, extended families, community members, and others. Each of those individuals is part of a school community. Each of them choose to engage with the school and the world around them under a set of personal beliefs which almost certainly differ in, at the very least, some small way, and potentially in some very big ways. But we choose to come together as a school, and as a community to engage and co-operate in the education of our children.
Accordingly, a school’s creed should represent each person in the school community and have value and provide connectedness for them all. This is a tall order. With so many stakeholders, each carrying a lifetime’s worth of experience and beliefs, it is no small task to find a statement of intention that inspires all.
Why should we change the school creed?
Carrying on with a creed as a function of tradition neglects to recognise the fluidity of community. Reacting to potential change with hostility and derision devalues and undermines the spirit of community. It creates an insular and disengaged group that lacks the skills to move laterally with the wider community.
We ask our children and students to look ahead to the future, welcome and accept those who differ, consider others when making decisions, absorb change, and to speak with integrity and respect. Yet, by choosing to neglect these skills as a wider community, we demonstrate hypocrisy and lassitude.
The community is ever changing, it is fluid. Responding positively to change and modeling those skills for our children will help ensure they will have the same skills as adults in a global community.
Despite the challenge, and for some, the discomfort of change, the way forward requires a shift. Maybe a small adjustment, maybe a complete makeover, in consultation with the students, where the sky is the limit. And it is worth the effort.