This will be my first Discussion as a new member of your community and it is a very personal subject for me. About two monthes ago I had to step up to the plate so to speak on defending my beliefs for the sake of my daughter. First off I guess I should say a little about her. Her name is Rebekka and she is 14 years old. She doesn't play follow the leader and generally has her own style. She is the middle child of 3 teenage girls and the only one to fully embrace the path of Wicca. (I don't push my religion on my childern but allow them the freedom to choose for themselves) Her style is somewhere between goth and punk in her own interpretation, which most of the time can be quit entertaining. She is an openly loving and giving person who general doesn't care who likes her and who doesn't. She is very much my mini me. She recently expressed her views to someone that she thought was a friend, who in turn went to her mother, who in turn went to the school counciler. I was rushed in for an emergency meeting to discuss "help" for my child. The main subject of concern, that she stated that she believed in witch craft. Not that she is a witch mind you but, that she believes in it. The school wanted a psycholocigal evalution done because they thought that she was incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction. Now understand that when I walked into the school I did not know what their concern was, only that there was a problem. I proudly wear a pentacle and I had made no attempt at hiding it (honestly I never take it off so I didn't give it any thought). There was no point in denying that I believed as well (not that I would have). This little girl that started the trouble told her mother that she was afraid that if she made my daughter mad then she'd be cursed by my child...hmmm don't you have to believe it exists to believe you can be cursed? But she wasn't being suggested for an evaluation. I told them how misinformed that information was because no witch would put anything out there that they didn't want back times three and that our motto clearly states harm ye none. To this the councelor simply snorted and looked down his nose. To shorten a very long story it took me reminding the school that there is a such thing as freedom of religion in this country and that religion was banished from schools so they didn't have the authority to order an evaluation based on religious beliefs. My point to this bulletin? Looking for opinions, similar experiences, or maybe better ways to handle it next time it becomes an issue.

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That is a good suggestion. I think my anger got the best of me but, I did manage to keep it under control. I did sit my daughter down and explain the whole "you find out who your friends really are thing" but, I also told her not to be afraid to be herself.
Thank you, reading some of your replies to other discussions I feel honored that you had an opinion on mine. I like reading your replies they're always well informed and almost poetic. I'll add more later I have company that just showed up.
They have no right to do that.

you have every right to feel as you do.

If the school system persists in persecuting your daughter in any way, I suggest lawyering up, and taking them to the cleaners.

This is about as clear a case of religious discrimination as it gets.
I don't know if you already have or not but, there is a great group here called Pagan Parenting you can join. It is run by our good friend Balor. She would have LOTS to say on this subject!
Dearest Balor is a very sweet person, and yes, she does voice her opinions! (and rightly so)

We live in the upstate of South Carolina, and my soon to be teen doesn't say a word to anyone at school about her mom's beliefs...she is afraid the natives will band together and start a bonfire. I am back at school (college) and have to give an informative speech in of my classes..so I chose Wicca. One of the girls in my class looked at me like I had a second head and asked if I sacrifice babies. I of course had to tell her "not since they outlawed the practice a few years back" *rolls eyes*

Stick to your guns, and if the school pushes, walk softly and carry a big civil rights lawyer!

Blessings,
Malice~
oh, and congrats for standing up, instead of hunkering down and taking it
Stand your ground. Get involved in the class and the pta. Go to everything. That's what I did.

If they push the issue ask them how many of the teachers wear crosses to class. Remind them of the seperation of church and state. Maybe even, as I did, remind them that their wedding rings are also a symbol of religion becuase they were probably married in a church. If they pushed the issue again you'll find an attorney and make sure that no symbol of religion, rings and crosses included, would be allowed on school grounds.

That's what I did. Then again I am a passionate zealot.
Wow! Warrior Mama's coming to getcha! Love it!

I'm glad that you were able to properly stand up for your girl. And the fact that you two have such an open relationship will go a very long way in helping others to understand what we are all about.

It's good to see so many Proud Pagan Parents out there!


Blessings,
Amanda
I think that it reflects very well on you that your daughter is strong enough and comfortable enough with herself to express herself, especially when they are so easily ridiculed at that age. You did great standing up for her and yourself and hopefully the school system will think twice before recommending something so outlandish over a simple statement. You should be very proud of her and she you. The reaction of the mother of her friend was definetly over rated. Hopefully your daughter will be able to explain her beliefs to her friend and clear up some misunderstandings. (that is if they are still talking) This could still turn out to be a great learning experience.
Misty
Wow! I stepped away for a minute and now I've got a lot of catching up to do. Thanks to everyone for they're replies. Okay first to Joe I'm not seaking any legal council on it. Not that I couldn't, I just don't believe much in our legal system. However, had they pushed the issue I might have given it a thought. To Julie, no I haven't been there yet but, I did see it and plan to check it out. I just got into reading the discussions first and it triggered my chatter bug, lol. To Bkyrdwtch, that is something to concider if this should come up again. But I made my point and they dropped it. I do believe though that I have the potential to get mean about it should it arise again, because it really got me going. The thought of doing nothing, or hiding from it never crossed my mind. I stood my ground and that's enough...for now. And to Amanda, thank you. Warrior Mom, I liked that, got me grinning from ear to ear. If I missed anyone that wrote something while I was typing this sorry about that. But school's out and I have to hand over the computer at 3 to my oldest (yes I have a set computer time too, you have to with three teenage daughters lol).You've all been very helpful and I've enjoyed reading all the replies. I'll check back in on this tomorrow.
The new Inquisition is here! It's back... Well, in my case I faced that from parents, family and school... Life proves us in that way to see if we fit... Keep going, you and your dau will shine as stars while the herd shackles in the butchery of times...

Alcaudon
I believe there are legal precedents for what you're going through.

as to what do do... well there's the Pagan/Wiccan FAQ, because these folks don't know anything about Paganism or Wicca except what they have seen in films. You're probably the first out-heathen they've ever met, so you're representing us to them. I'd say, try to be undestanding, people fear what they don't know, and well as they're in education hopefully they'll be openmided to being educated.

But if they're being arseholes, here's some possible help:

Contact the Liberty League
http://www.circlesanctuary.org/liberty/

an article:
http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yourlegalrights/a/Rights_Parents.htm

and here's a myspace group:
www.myspace.com/forpaganrights

I hope that helps!

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