I live in UK and my children attend a Church of England Primary School, this is a state school where some form of Bible teaching is permitted, there are Bibles and crosses in each class, many school services take place at the local church, yet all the staff are unbelievers and most of the parents sending their children there, unbelievers as well.
It just so happens that I was employed by the same school for a little more than 2 hours each week.
For Christmas, the school held a Christmas fair and each child was supposed to bring a jar of candy. As I am in the habit of leaving Christian tracts, I inserted some tracts into my children’s candy jars, perhaps hastily. One of them was a Million Pound tract with Ten Commandments on its back, and the other, a card with an advertisement for Ray Comfort’s film “180”.
When I showed up for my shift, not too long after the fair, the Head Teacher (principal) called an emergency meeting and he had my jar and tracts in his hand. Straight after the meeting I admitted it was me, I had nothing to hide. I was questioned by the school leadership and I said that what he was calling “unauthorized, inappropriate printed material” were Christian tracts and that they explain the Christian teaching.
Immediately some officials from the local Council were called in; there was even a policeman at the school. I was immediately suspended and told not to reveal any of the details to anyone. I was made to attend an investigative meeting with strict instructions that no legal representation was allowed. The school leadership and the HR representative were pressing these points: that there was deeply inappropriate wording on the back of the tract: “sexual immorality” and that the film “180” was horrific, had it been watched by a child, even a child who is 10-11. The local “pastor” or vicar (who is female) said that she condemned my actions, that the “180” was a horrifying film and not child appropriate.
I admitted that I regretted that the tracts were not more child friendly, but that I was glad that they all had read the tract and seen the film, since we all will be accountable to God one day and then they will not have an excuse.
I kept repeating, that I prepared the jars as a parent, for an after school hours event; I didn’t give tracts out on my shift, so I should be dealt with as a parent, not suspended as an employee. It fell on deaf ears. The HR representative was quizzing me in a police style mode.
Since I have a delicate nervous disposition, and all the stress affecting me physically, I handed in my resignation and thought that this is where it would end.
However, when I came to pick up my children from their last day of school, before their holidays, I was called in to the Head Teacher’s office once again, there was a member of the Board of Directors there. I was officially informed that because in the course of the meeting I had revealed to them that my children had seen the child inappropriate “180” film, they have notified the Child Protection Services and that they will be contacting me shortly.
I said that I knew what they were doing: persecuting me because of my faith. I said that they knew my children were well behaved and never done anything bad to another pupil; yet there were plenty of children with worrying playground games and would their parents be called in and quizzed on what their children watch or play? Of course they didn't answer that, just said that they simply followed the guidelines of child protection.
We do not watch violent films in our household, but I feel it is important to bring up children teaching them what is right and wrong, even if the subject is a bit heavy (like holocaust and abortion). When my sons were about 10 and 8, I explained to them what those things meant and the reason I did so, because the sex ed starts here in UK very early.
Now you can just imagine how I am feeling, scared that someone might deem me to be a bad mother and take my children away. I am without a church and really don’t have relatives or friends that could support our family in this. It is easy to be bold when it’s just you, but the threat of removing your children takes it to another level..
I am in a desperate need of prayers. Thank you and God bless!
A blog by Amy Spreeman