No David and Goliath for These Kids

I couldn’t believe this article when I read it:

A kindergartner’s mother cannot read Scripture during show and tell, even if the Bible is the boy’s favorite book, a U.S. appeals court ruled.

“Parents of public school kindergarten students may reasonably expect their children will not become captive audiences to an adult’s reading of religious texts,” Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica wrote in Monday’s split 2-1 opinion, which upheld a lower court’s ruling.

You may find the rest of the article here.

Maybe the babysitter was right and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the little boy’s favorite book.  I am not sure that I would describe the Bible as the favorite book of my grandsons, who are four and six, but a book can, at that age, be important to a child without being the one that he or she would turn to for pleasure reading.

There are allusions to the Bible throughout great literature, and to take them out would dilute the story and, I think, the author’s intent. We are noticing more and more at the high school level that kids have no idea what these allusions are, so we explain the story so that they will understand.  Is that proselytizing? Or is it helping them understand the stories assigned to them and the culture into which they were born?

I don’t know what Scripture passages Ms. Busch had chosen to read.But in a kindergarten class, would reading something like the story of Adam and Eve or that of David and Goliath really have hurt anybody?  And isn’t reading any story a student doesn’t choose for himself holding him captive?


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June 2009
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