After being rescheduled twice, the elementary Christmas program went on yesterday. Mae had a great time singing and all of the children did a great job; it was the adults who stunk up the auditorium. The music teacher, with a month extra to practice, didn't have her shit together. The music cues were all wrong, microphones were constantly being adjusted and the song selections were absolutely awful. The program was "A Country Christmas" with several country songs mixed in with a few traditional. Who thought that Toby Keith was appropriate for 1st graders? Remember that's the "We'll stick a boot in your ass, it's the American way" guy. That's not the song they sung, but crappy none the less. Another great selection was a song called "Leroy the Redneck Reindeer" one line I can remember was "jingle bell and the rebel yell" very classy. Then much to my surprise, each grade (K-4) sang a religious song. Not just a mention of the birth of Jesus but full on gospel type songs. My daughter's class sang "Jesus Christ is born" and the second grade sang "Mary did you know?" What the hell? This is a public school! I know this is a community with strong Christian beliefs, but come on, this is a government funded PUBLIC school for EVERYONE, regardless of religious affiliation. It seems that I 'm always fighting the issue of what kinds of religion my children are being taught behind my back. Am I just making too much of this? Does this happen in other public schools?
I can't decide how I should handle this. Should I talk with the principal who obviously supported this program, complete in her overalls and bandanna? Will I get anywhere with a letter? I know Mae's teacher is the children's' choir director at her church, so that's a dead end. I can't seem to find an unbiased Christian to complain to. Maybe I need to go even further up the ladder, but at the same time I don't want to alienate my children as the ones who can't participate in holiday activities.
I feel that this type of religious content has no business taking up valuable school time. Perhaps time would be better spent on teaching the children about healthy eating habits and exercise. Is Jesus OK with childhood obesity? Just a thought after watching all 5 grades pile onto and off of the stage yesterday.