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Ash Wednesday "discrimination" is a Tempest in a Teapot

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It saddens me that this is even a story. The Catholic church is going through a bit of a PR struggle right now. This allows them to play the persecuted victim. In reality if this is your biggest problem (and judging from the social media reaction, it is) then your life is going amazingly well. 

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@Maureen "hey student, clean your face off."

Surely it isn't that difficult to figure out.  If she didn't know when she asked it is a world of difference.  I don't think you don't already know that.

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

It saddens me that this is even a story. The Catholic church is going through a bit of a PR struggle right now. This allows them to play the persecuted victim. In reality if this is your biggest problem (and judging from the social media reaction, it is) then your life is going amazingly well. 

I beg to differ. If it is true that the child tried to explain what the ash cross, and the teacher made him wipe it off anyway, that is pretty disrespectful to Catholicism. The fact that the Catholic church is facing a separate, very difficult scandal, does not excuse the alleged action of the teacher. Also, the notion that the child/parent or church institutional is playing the victim to deflect attention form the child molestation issue is a stretch, imho.

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2 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

IIRC, both the kid and the teacher said she gave him a wipe and told him to wipe it off before knowing what it was.  The kid says he then tried to explain multiple times but that the teacher wouldn’t listen.  I haven’t seen a full written accounting from the teacher—I know she spoke at a news conference several days ago but I frankly don’t care enough to go dig up and watch the video. 

Question: assuming the teacher contradicts the child and says he never tried to explain what it was, do we believe the kid’s version:

a) because he’s a Catholic, 

b) because he got to the media first, or 

c) because (we presume) the teacher is a nasty, nasty Mormon? 

Given the amount of criticism the teacher received, I would find it odd if she now claimed the student never explained the meaning of it, and she only got blamed after the incident happened. If I was that teacher, I would have had my NEA rep with me, in front of news cameras, within minutes of the critical news reports--insisting on my innocence, in that the child did not explain what it was.

Indeed, a 5-day old ABC news story indicates the teacher apologized, saying it was a misunderstanding--that she thought it was dirt. The grandmother indicates her grandson tried to explain what it was twice, and the teacher was not listening. So... I suspect she made an assumption, and really did not pick up on how upset her student was.

As others have said, this story ends okay. The teacher will not face permanent discipline, and the child was allowed to have the cross re-applied. There's no need to be get stuck in this narrative--but neither does the teacher need defending. She made a foolish rush to judgment, and it bit her pretty hard.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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5 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Given the amount of criticism the teacher received, I would find it odd if she now claimed the student never explained the meaning of it, and she only got blamed after the incident happened. If I was that teacher, I would have had my NEA rep with me, in front of news cameras, within minutes of the critical news reports--insisting on my innocence, in that the child did not explain what it was.

Utah teacher’s unions seem to be very strange beasts.  There have been a couple issues lately where they’ve basically hung their members out to dry.

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28 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I beg to differ. If it is true that the child tried to explain what the ash cross, and the teacher made him wipe it off anyway, that is pretty disrespectful to Catholicism. The fact that the Catholic church is facing a separate, very difficult scandal, does not excuse the alleged action of the teacher. Also, the notion that the child/parent or church institutional is playing the victim to deflect attention form the child molestation issue is a stretch, imho.

We see it totally differently, that's for sure. Diametrically opposed.

 Real oppression would be if the teacher did it at gunpoint. You know, like what happened to Jewish people in the holocaust or worse, what happened recently in New Zealand. We throw words around like "oppression" and "abuse" and "racism" to further our own causes-no, not accusing you PC. Just what I've seen. 

 "Disrespectful"? Sure. "Oppression"? Not even close.   

Edited by MormonGator

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@MormonGator, if we call out the adult teacher for disrespecting her 10-year old student's religion, do you not believe we may avoid future holocausts? Again, the problem is pretty resolved, and I am glad. However, it certainly was a problem, and the story deserved to be published. It gets to what our country is supposed to be about...in fact, the story reminds me of Article 11 of the Articles of Faith.

 

Edited by prisonchaplain

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13 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

@MormonGator, if we call out the adult teacher for disrespecting her 10-year old student's religion, do you not believe we may avoid future holocausts?

To compare it the holocaust-or events leading up to the holocaust-shows a huge misunderstanding of history. This was hardly the night of broken glass. And that proves my point. If it was really "oppressive" it would be remembered for generations, even before the internet age. You know, like the actual Night of Broken Glass. This will be forgotten about in two weeks. If it wasn't for viral stories and people wanting to be outraged, we wouldn't have a clue. 

Because we disagree so passionately, I'm going to step back. I don't want it to get acrimonious or contentious. You know how much I respect you @prisonchaplain

Edited by MormonGator

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2 hours ago, mirkwood said:

@Maureen "hey student, clean your face off."

Surely it isn't that difficult to figure out.  If she didn't know when she asked it is a world of difference.  I don't think you don't already know that.

Yes, the teacher told her student to clean his face, but he allegedly tried to explain to her what the ash cross meant and she either ignored what he was saying and/or didn't care what it meant to him. If the student didn't explain the ash cross, the teacher could have said as much and it's doubtful this story would have gotten this much attention. Either way, where there's a lack of communication between a teacher and student; I would say since the teacher is in charge, it doesn't make the teacher look good.

M.

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I think perhaps an example more similar to members of the church and what they may experience would be easier to understand why this was not the right course of action for the teacher to necessarily take.

A teenager has a temporary temple recommend.  The teacher tells the student that they must burn the recommend and toss it in the trash.  The student tries to tell the teacher that it is not something to disturb the class (in fact, it is in their pocket and not public display), that it is a religious thing, and that this is something given to them by their church authorities.

The teacher ignores the student for some reason and tells them to burn it now.  The student, rather than raise more of a ruckus does so.

How would Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints respond to such a story.

This may not be a perfect match, but I think it is a decent parallel to how offensive the teacher's suggestion and request was.  This is not some frivolous item and is FAR better known than youth temple recommends.  The student had a pretty serious religious ceremony they experienced.  Even if ignorant, the teacher could have EASILY looked up or found out about WHY a student may have something like this on that specific day.  It is NOT secret and very well known.

Even if it is easily redone to a degree, it was still disrespectful to the religion, to Catholicism, and to the child.

In the same way, a teacher doing the above to a youth that is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could be seen as sparking outrage in Utah or the surrounding areas if done to a student.  Perhaps we may reason that we, personally, would feel no problems if this occurred, but there would be those in the surrounding area that would be HIGHLY offended if a teacher did this to a student and forced them to burn a temporary temple recommend and toss the ashes.

I find that it is great that no party took greater offense then they did (and in fact, perhaps others have taken greater offense than the child or their parents, and the teacher seems to also have a greater education on the subject so all turned out well in the end).  However, I do not think it is right to give the teacher a completely free pass on the incident.  All seems forgiven though, and if the offended party was willing to forgive and forget, we probably should be willing to do so as well.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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41 minutes ago, Maureen said:

Yes, the teacher told her student to clean his face, but he allegedly tried to explain to her what the ash cross meant and she either ignored what he was saying and/or didn't care what it meant to him. If the student didn't explain the ash cross, the teacher could have said as much and it's doubtful this story would have gotten this much attention. Either way, where there's a lack of communication between a teacher and student; I would say since the teacher is in charge, it doesn't make the teacher look good.

M.

I can't tell if you are being deliberately obtuse or not.

 

Here is a suggestion.  Go back and re-read it all.  Pay particular attention to what you said that I quoted.

 

smh

Edited by mirkwood

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13 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Given the amount of criticism the teacher received, I would find it odd if she now claimed the student never explained the meaning of it, and she only got blamed after the incident happened. If I was that teacher, I would have had my NEA rep with me, in front of news cameras, within minutes of the critical news reports--insisting on my innocence, in that the child did not explain what it was.

Indeed, a 5-day old ABC news story indicates the teacher apologized, saying it was a misunderstanding--that she thought it was dirt. The grandmother indicates her grandson tried to explain what it was twice, and the teacher was not listening. So... I suspect she made an assumption, and really did not pick up on how upset her student was.

As others have said, this story ends okay. The teacher will not face permanent discipline, and the child was allowed to have the cross re-applied. There's no need to be get stuck in this narrative--but neither does the teacher need defending. She made a foolish rush to judgment, and it bit her pretty hard.

No, the kid has now said she told him to wipe it off and he did. She them asked what it was and he explained what it was. She then asked if there was a way to reapply it. The media and family messed up the timeline of events and this led to social media branding her as Satan incarnate. It was just honest ignorance.

I did not know about the ashes on the forehead until I was 40 years old, so I can see how this is an honest mistake.

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12 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

A teenager has a temporary temple recommend.  ...

The teacher ignores the student for some reason and tells them to burn it now.  The student, rather than raise more of a ruckus does so.

False equivalence.  The whole issue was that there was a school policy in place regarding face paint.  There is no school policy in place regarding a piece of paper in someone's pocket.

Put that face paint on the background of plenty of folks getting called out for blackface.  Not a lot of people going around getting called out for a piece of paper in their pocket that no one at school ever sees.

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4 hours ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

No, the kid has now said she told him to wipe it off and he did. She them asked what it was and he explained what it was. She then asked if there was a way to reapply it. The media and family messed up the timeline of events and this led to social media branding her as Satan incarnate. It was just honest ignorance.

I did not know about the ashes on the forehead until I was 40 years old, so I can see how this is an honest mistake.

I would love to read this account, because it changes the story completely. Could you post the link--or direct me on how to find it? 

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6 minutes ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

I will see if I can find it again, it has been a few weeks now.

 

 

1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

I would love to read this account, because it changes the story completely. Could you post the link--or direct me on how to find it? 

https://www.standard.net/news/education/bountiful-teacher-apologizes-for-ash-wednesday-incident/article_c90e54fe-36a3-59cb-ae1e-fee379d39be8.html
https://video.foxnews.com/v/6012992760001/#sp=show-clips

I guess it comes down to whether we believe the teacher or the boy's grandmother, as she seems to be the one behind the media push against the teacher. I tend to trust people that are not allowing an agenda to be more important than the truth.

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19 hours ago, MormonGator said:

We see it totally differently, that's for sure. Diametrically opposed.

 Real oppression would be if the teacher did it at gunpoint. You know, like what happened to Jewish people in the holocaust or worse, what happened recently in New Zealand. We throw words around like "oppression" and "abuse" and "racism" to further our own causes-no, not accusing you PC. Just what I've seen. 

 "Disrespectful"? Sure. "Oppression"? Not even close.   

I don't think anybody disagrees with you as far as this one singular incident goes.

The concern, in my mind at least, is that big atrocities start with small, relatively trivial incidents.  Since we've already mentioned the Holocaust, I ask this question, as a way to illustrate a point:  Do you suppose that the persecution of the Jews in Europe began with the Star of David armbands, or is it more likely to have started with little acts here and there?  

I don't think many of us are worried that Christianity (or any denomination of it) is destined to experience a full scale holocaust at the hands of others.  I do think that many of us are paying very close attention because of a cultural climate that has made it quite clear that Christians are the one demographic it's now always okay to push around, Catholics in particular.  This kind of stuff never just goes away on its own.  Granted, in this case it isn't non-Christian vs. Christian, but it DID take place in a public school environment, and the teacher was citing school rules, not her own religious beliefs. 

The matter has been resolved and everybody's fine, and I'm glad.  I suspect the equitable outcome had more to do with the location of the incident than anything else... but that's just me speculating.

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6 hours ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

No, the kid has now said she told him to wipe it off and he did. She them asked what it was and he explained what it was. She then asked if there was a way to reapply it....

I watched and read the links you supplied and I don't see how any of them convey what you said in your quote above.

M.

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44 minutes ago, Maureen said:

I watched and read the links you supplied and I don't see how any of them convey what you said in your quote above.

M.

I fail to see how it is my responsibility to prove what I read just because the link does not exist any longer or I cannot find it any more. This was simply some Uber-Catholic grandmother overreacting to get attention as a "suppressed minority" in evil Mormon Utah, nothing more. I don't see why it is even still being reported. The Teacher, who has devoted years to teaching kids, something that some parents won't even do, will now lose her job because she made a kid wash off his face because she thought he was dirty. Put yourself in her place. It would be like a teacher having a Muslim kid get stitches because he was bleeding after having his head cut as part of Ashura. This is truly a tempest in a teapot and I believe the teacher, not the poor victims family. I am sure they will have a film made before you know it.

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2 hours ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

 

https://www.standard.net/news/education/bountiful-teacher-apologizes-for-ash-wednesday-incident/article_c90e54fe-36a3-59cb-ae1e-fee379d39be8.html
https://video.foxnews.com/v/6012992760001/#sp=show-clips

I guess it comes down to whether we believe the teacher or the boy's grandmother, as she seems to be the one behind the media push against the teacher. I tend to trust people that are not allowing an agenda to be more important than the truth.

I feel like I'm straining at gnats on this. However, I read the whole article through, and still do not see that the boy says he did not try to explain what the smudge was. Also, the teacher never seems to say that he did or didn't do so. One account had the student going to the principal in tears. The grandmother says the boy tried to tell the teacher twice, and again, I do not read of her denying this. That the school, the district, and the teacher all apologized, I am left wondering if the teacher was just set on helping the child get the dirt off him, and was not catching that the boy was upset or trying to explain what the marking was. And so, I agree that the teacher did not intend disrespect. Further, she and the school system handled the aftermath quite well. Perhaps we can all celebrate the happy ending. We all know of stories where the system circles the wagons, and both sides go into war footing. This is better . . . much.

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1 hour ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

I fail to see how it is my responsibility to prove what I read just because the link does not exist any longer or I cannot find it any more.

Seriously?  Without taking sides between you and @Maureen, if one is going to make a claim, then yes, of course it's their responsibility to provide support for that claim. 

Or were you just kidding? 

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5 minutes ago, unixknight said:

Seriously?  Without taking sides between you and @Maureen, if one is going to make a claim, then yes, of course it's their responsibility to provide support for that claim. 

Or were you just kidding? 

I just don't think it is necessary and frankly I do not have the time to go searching for the story I read on a subject that is as insignificant as this.

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1 hour ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

I fail to see how it is my responsibility to prove what I read just because the link does not exist any longer or I cannot find it any more.

This was simply some Uber-Catholic grandmother overreacting to get attention as a "suppressed minority" in evil Mormon Utah, nothing more. ... I believe the teacher, not the poor victims family. I am sure they will have a film made before you know it. ... I just don't think it is necessary and frankly I do not have the time to go searching for a story I read on a subject that is as insignificant as this.

 

You portray both the student and his grandmother as fanatic anti-Mormons who are probably showboating. Those are strong accusations. Neither the teacher, the principal, nor the school district saw it that way. Then, when asked to verify the claim that the student did not explain the meaning of the ashes to his teacher, you dismiss the request an just not that important, since the story is not important. I don't know the family, so it's not personal to me. However, why the hostility towards these folks, given the insignificance?

Edited by prisonchaplain

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6 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

You portray the both and his grandmother as fanatic anti-Mormons who are probably showboating. Those are strong accusations. Neither the teacher, the principal, nor the school district saw it that way. Then, when asked to verify the claim that the student did not explain the meaning of the ashes to his teacher, you dismiss the request an just not that important, since the story is not important. I don't know the family, so it's not personal to me. However, why the hostility towards these folks, given the insignificance?

No, I am portraying how it is being perceived by the media and the social media minions. My irritation stems from people demanding that I provide proof other than my word that I read what I read. Nothing more. I have no vested interest in the story other than to point out how easy it is to demonize one teacher when she really did nothing wrong. Perhaps my way of saying it came across wrong and I apologize if it offended you. I was trying to be ironic, it looks like I failed.

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27 minutes ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

I just don't think it is necessary and frankly I do not have the time to go searching for the story I read on a subject that is as insignificant as this.

"Your honor, the defendant smashed my Corvette with a bat!"

"Alright, present your evidence."

"Well, your Honor, I don't see why it's my responsibility to present the evidence.  I can't find it anyway, but you should just take my word for it because I don't have time to spend looking."

"I see your point.  Okay, judgement for the plaintiff!"

Seems legit.

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