Would yo send your non Catholic child to a catholic school?

United States
December 8, 2007 5:17pm CST
Parents, I would like to hear all your opinions.I am not a parent and never will be but I would like to know if sending a non Catholic to a Catholic school.If I were a parent, I wouldn't. I am not Catholic and it would be hypocritical for me to send Johnny or Jane to a catholic school. I couldn't follow the rules of being a Catholic so how could I expect my child to follow the rules.Because I can't follow the rules is the reason I really respect the Catholics of the world.
7 people like this
22 responses
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
8 Dec 07
My family is Catholic but my husband and I are not. If the school was really good, then yes I would send my son to it. I went through Catholic school myself and what they teach (minus religion of course) is not affected by their religious belief. I do find that Catholic School enforce their rules a bit more, but how can that hurt anyone? I also think it is good for children to be exposed to many types of things, including various types of religion.
5 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
8 Dec 07
I wouldn't send my child to a Catholic school. I am Pagan and my husband is Christian. His exact form of Christianity is kind of unique and very Unitarian Universalist flavored... so it differs greatly from Catholicism. While I do want my son to learn about many different religions and beliefs, I want it to happen in situations where I can be there and see what is being taught, or where my husband and I can do the teaching ourselves. Since we attend a Unitarian Universalist fellowship, my son will have plenty of chances to learn about other religions there, where we can be there with him and help him understand things. The reason I see it this way is that my friends who are non-Catholic but have children in Catholic schools have had problems with their kids coming home and telling them they are going to hell, and similar things. The child spends so much time at school that the beliefs they learn there can sometimes seem like the ONLY possible belief to them, and override the teachings of the parents.
3 people like this
• United States
9 Dec 07
That is how I feel about it too.
2 people like this
@patgalca (14414)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 Dec 07
My husband and I are both Catholics. We got married in the Catholic Church and made a promise to God that we would raise our children as Catholics. So our children do attend Catholic schools (one in grade school and one in high school). I don't know about other provinces or countries but here in Ontario one parent has to be a baptized Catholic in order for you to enrol your child in a Catholic school. One of my daughter's friends has a father who is Catholic and a mother who was raised Baptist. They enrolled their children in the Catholic school. The daughter decided at about 10 years of age that she WANTED to be baptized a Catholic. I believe the rules are a little more strict in a Catholic school. There is a dress code - no skirts higher than the end of their fingers, no spaghetti straps or sleeveless shirts, no bellies showing and even words on t-shirts are monitored. Children have been sent home for wearing spaghetti strap tops and shirts with inappropriate wording on them. I am very happy with the way my children have turned out because of the Catholic school system. There are a lot of kids in public schools around us and I just find them totally different attitude-wise. Or maybe I just lucked out. Well, I'm not done yet. LOL! But I am pleased that my 14 year old chose to stop being friends with kids who turned down the pathway to trouble.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Dec 07
It used to be like that in our diocese--one parenting needing to be Catholic to enroll kids in the school, but not anymore. When I went my dad was a baptized Catholic and used that to get us into the school, even though he wasn't practicing anymore (and most likely was agnostic or atheist at the time). My mom was non-denominational Christian, I guess--more spiritual then religious. My kids go to a Catholic school. When I filled out the enrollment forms I filled in atheist and agnostic as me and my husband's religion. I haven't heard anything about it. My dad was the one to actually enroll them (I just filled out the paper work). He even asked about us not being Catholic and they didn't care. They don't get special exceptions or anything. They go to Mass with the rest of the school and do all the same religious assignments. They did send home letters asking if we wanted to baptize the kids. I just tossed them out. I went to Catholic schools and was never baptized so I have gone threw it all already. I went to Mass every week and had to do all the assignments when we did our First Communion and Confirmation, although I didn't participate in the actual event. It wasn't bad. I survived and it taught me to be strong and find what I believed and not take what the church said at face value (saw way too much hypocrisy in school). As for dress codes--around here they wear uniforms. Plaid jumpers or skirts, blouses and knee-high socks for the girls. Slacks and button down shirts for the boys. Only dress shoes in black or navy blue, only school cardigans for the little kids. That was how it was for me growing up, too. I wore a uniform to school every day from 1st grade until I graduated high school (except for the random day we got to dress up or dress down--usually for a $1 donation to some charity). The dress code you describe is the same one my kid's public school had when she went there. Seems pretty standard to me. The public schools in our city have uniforms--navy blue pants, shorts (for the girls), skirts or jumpers and white shirts with collars. They are super strict like the Catholic schools, though.
1 person likes this
@patgalca (14414)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 Dec 07
As much as it cost us to get my daughter her high school uniform (probably about $350 not including shoes), I would like to see the Catholic elementary schools wearing uniforms. In the high school they got rid of the girl's kilt because the girls were hiking them up. They wear black pants, a white golf style shirt with the school initials on it, and a fleece sweatshirt or sweater or sweater vest with the school initials. These were purchased at a uniform store. The shoes we had to find on our own and they have to be ALL black. Not easy to find. My daughter actually has to marker out the white stripe on her shoes. They do a uniform inspection. She had to get a dress pass for 3 weeks when she developed a rash on her neck because we thought it might be the uniform. They also have dress down days that cost money for charity. The Catholic grade school uniforms were just going out when I went to grade school. I remember my sister wearing it - a white blouse with a black jumper. Of course kids in grade school would need a new uniform every year because they grow so much whereas we are hoping my daughter will be able to wear some of her uniform for all 4 years. She chose to go to the Catholic high school (we gave her the option because it is not in town) and she seems quite proud of her uniform. I, on the other hand, did NOT go to a Catholic high school like my sisters before me did and I still, to this day, regret it. I wish I had gone to the Catholic high school. Live and learn. We get to an age where we get to make our own choices. We can only hope we make the right ones.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 07
My high school uniform was the plain skirt and at first a white blouse but then they changed it to a white polo shirt with the school name on it (now they have the school crest on them). The skirts were for 2 years then we voted on a different pattern for our junior/senior year so we had to buy 2 skirts during our time at school and they were like $60 a pop. The tops were expensive, too, because they had the name on them. The sweaters, too. We were allowed to wear turtle necks underneath in the winter and tights but they had to be navy, white or green/red (depending on the colors of our uniform--my jr/sr uniform was green, my fr/soph one was blue with red highlights). We had issues with girls hiking them up, too. I used to roll my skirt but only because my mom bought it too long and didn't feel like hemming it. It came all the way to my knees, looked silly and bugged the heck out of me. But I only rolled it to above my knees, not like the other girls where you could see their shorts (which was another rule violation that we all did--shorts under our skirts, lol). My daughter wears a green plaid jumper and white blouse, both have to be bought at the uniform shop (special one) because the blouses have rounded collars. She has green and navy socks she likes to wear and cute little Mary Janes. My son wears navy slacks and oxford shirt. The other Catholic school in the area (the one I went to for 7th and 8th grade) changed their uniforms. They still have the plaid jumpers but the girls also have the choice of navy slacks in the winter and the girls wear polo shirts like the boys now. They had blouses when I went there and the girls were NOT allowed to wear pants. Both schools allow all the kids to wear their gym uniforms on gym day (which is twice a week) which they didn't do when I was a kid.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
9 Dec 07
Some religious private schools insist on the children being raised in that belief, but I do not think the Catholic schools are like that. I have known people who put their children in Catholic schools because that was the only way they learned about God. It is more likely that the child would say that you would go to hell, if it was a Baptist private school. However one does not know if their child is a Catholic at heart, unless one catches the child watching "Going My Way" "Angels with Dirty Faces" "The Trouble with Angel" and maybe borrowing a Bible and reading it. In that case, the child is expressing a desire to learn about Catholicism and can be sent to a Catholic Private school. However the child should receive a little religious instruction even if it is reading about Baby Moses and I would say to find a school where there is at least a classroom where they talk about Christianity or that the school principal allows reading the Bible during lunch or recess so the child does get some exposure. It used to be that in public schools, the principal read either the Lord's Prayer or the Ten Commandments and if the parents are pagans then the child nowadays has few places since a church building is a foreign object to them rather than a place to worship.
• United States
11 Dec 07
Here in the States reading of the Bible has been banned for a long time.no principal could read from the Bible without a class action suit happening. We have separation of Church and State.If my child came to me and said he/she wanted to become Catholic, then I would enroll him/her into a Catholic school.
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
9 Dec 07
My sister actually did this. She lives in the cities and my niece attended an inter city school and the choices for classes were not very demanding challenging so she put my niece into a catholic school. She graduated from the school and did comply with all their rules while she attened. I don't think I would. With open enrollment you can opt in to any school you want to without paying extra like my sister did.
2 people like this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
9 Dec 07
Although my parenting days are over, at least as far as having a child in school (but I do have 2 grandchildren) I was prepared to answer that, yes, I might consider it if I had it to do over if they students weren't indoctrinated in the Catholic faith since I'm not a Catholic either. However, after reading another post in this discussion it seems that wouldn't be very likely and I wouldn't want my child coming home telling me about "going to hell" over something I may not feel that way about. Kids do get much of their ideas from school, after all the better part of their day is spent there, so I wouldn't want my child influenced in that way without me being there to know what's being taught. I respect Catholics too but I just wouldn't want my child pushed into religious beliefs I didn't agree with or know much about. The discipline and education parts of a Catholic education are very good I've heard but it wouldn't work for me. It's for these same reasons I'm also against religion being taught in the public schools. That should be up to the parents. Annie
2 people like this
• India
10 Dec 07
Hi Sarah, Let me tell you that I am Hindu by caste and have studied in a catholic school. There is no reason for caste discrimination coming up in education. If the education provided by them is of good quality then why not send your child there.
• United States
10 Dec 07
I would be afraid that Johnny and Jane would become Catholic.
• United States
10 Dec 07
Oops. I mean that they will be forced to become Catholic.
• India
11 Dec 07
In India to study in a catholic school you were not required to become a catholic but I don't know what happens in your country. One thing more no one can force you to do any thing even to become catholic, it is against law.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
9 Dec 07
I would never send my non-catholic child to to a Catholic School, because I would not want my child Brainwashed By teachers of the Catholic Religion. This religion is drilled into their heads, with no discussion or explanations. Catholics are not encouraged to think for themselves. They are taught to accept the words of the priest as taught by the Church. I believe children should be taught at a very young age to think for themselves, rather than to accept another persons word for anything. This is why I would never send my child to a Catholic School.
• United States
9 Dec 07
That's not true of every Catholic school. The ones I went to were very open. I learned a lot there and was taught to think for myself, although they did encourage us to stay Catholic (not that I was to begin with). We asked lots of questions about faith and what the church believed and were given honest answers by our teachers and priests. The high school I went to was very liberal and really encouraged us girls to become independent thinking young women. We could even take a comparative religion course our senior year to learn about other religions and they were discussed in other classes, too. I had friends of all different religions in high school. By the time I was a teen I no longer believed in organized religion. I stopped "praying" before class with the rest of the kids and when I was questioned I told the teachers I didn't feel a need to express my prayers out loud and that was accepted. Although, I'm sure my high school would have preferred I converted to Catholicism, I think they would be proud of the woman I am today because I am strong and independent like they taught me to be and I made up my mind with the tools they gave me in school. (Can you tell I love my alma mater, lol.--I would send my girls there if they still wanted to continue with Catholic education but I don't think I could afford it--with 3 girls and tuition now is over $6000 and will be even higher by the time they are in school)
2 people like this
• United States
9 Dec 07
4monsters, your school doesn't have scholarships? It sounds like a great school and there should be a way for your kids to go there, especially because you graduated from there.
• United States
9 Dec 07
There are scholarships but they only cover a tiny portion of the cost. It is just so expensive. The tuition alone is more then we make in 3 months. Then there is the cost of uniforms, books and all the hidden fees they don't tell you about because if you don't donate so many hours of your time you have to pay $10-$20 per hour required per year (at their elementary school it adds up to $200 for the year plus another $500 of donations for something else--that is on top of the almost $6000 we are paying for 2 kids to go there, next year we will have 3 in school). I used to donate to my high school when I actually had money and I always marked it for the scholarship fund. I'm hoping to be able to start giving them some money again because I want the girls going there that are having money troubles to be able to graduate. My brother went to an all male school (now co-ed) and almost didn't graduate because my parents were behind on the tuition. With weeks to go and no way to pay the money they met with the principal and he gave them a grant to pay off the last $2000 they owed which allowed my brother to graduate with his class. My mother cried because she was so happy and so proud of my brother who struggled through out school and finally was getting good grades and deserved to graduate. My parents paid some of it back when they got the money and told the school to use it for another child that needed it. That is why I donate to the school. We won't be living around here when my kids are in high school anyway. We are planning on moving out of state so it really isn't a concern. I can only imagine how much it will cost in 6 years when my oldest will start high school. It was about $3200 when I went there and is now over $6000 and I only graduated in 95.
1 person likes this
@nesher (237)
• United States
8 Dec 07
We have to make a decision of choosing a middle school for our kid, and the best possible candidate is the catholic private school with very good credentials and public perception. My wife visited the school, and was advised not to give our son to this school by the advisor, as we do not belong to the Catholic Church. But, if we even would not been turn out, we would not considered it, after closely inspecting their carriculum. We do not want our son to be "different" in school, and also we do not want to create an additional compication in his world's perception.
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
9 Dec 07
Even though your child would be different, do you think the other kids would care? I went through Catholic School myself and many of the kids I was in class with were not Catholic. Kids do not ask what religion another child is. Unless a teacher pointed out your child was different, the other kids would never know. Even if the teacher did do that I doubt the other kids would care, religion does not define 100% who a person is and young kids are much more accepting than adults are.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
I have to disagree that kids are so accepting... my classmates threw Bibles at me in school and called me Satan... and this was in a public school! I guess it depends on where you live and what the kids have been taught by their parents.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 07
I agree Lecanis . Kids will find a reason to pick on other kids.Religion is as good a reason as any other.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
17 Dec 07
I know my husband thinks the same way you do and our son doesn't go to a catholic school. But I've been to 2 Catholic schools and I never had any problems. In fact, I didn't have to practice their religion either. Well, they were more strict about certin things than other schools but never about religion. We were free NOT to attend Catechism if we were non-Catholics (and I never did). Maybe the schools I attended were an exception.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Dec 07
Your school doesn't have to an exception. I just thought that a religious school would have students that were of that religion and they would mix regular school subjects and religion.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
18 Dec 07
Most of the Catholic schools that I know of do not mix subjects and religion...but my husband knows quite a few schools that have tried to convert or atleast brainwash the students about their religion. That's the reason why he would never send our kids to Catholic schools.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
9 Dec 07
The woman who raised me was catholic, so I ended up going to catholic school from 4th thru 10th grade. My answer is and emphatic no! They did not make the non-catholic kids go to Mass (I had to go though) but they did have to go to religion class and they did get "religion" per se all day. They also got a perverted look at life, because these schools that I went to were well populated by Nuns. Pretty much everything was a sin. And everyone is born a sinner and you have to spend every second of your life working at not sinning. Well, I was a very normal rambunctious kid. So I was a real bad sinner. Not to mention I was Jewish so I was double damned.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 07
But don't you find it freeing when someone thinks yo are a sinner and therefore damned?Since you are already going to hell, you might as well do what you like.
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
9 Dec 07
Their opinion doesn't mean a thing to me. It is what goes on between the Supreme Being and myself that counts. No one else matters in my eternal life. Maybe in my day to day life, but not in my spiritual life. Only I will be judged by what I did or didn't do in the end. Not by what someone else thinks I did or says I did.
1 person likes this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I would never send my kid to Catholic school. I'd be afraid of them catching it. No way am I gonna pay that therepy bill.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Dec 07
It takes a special person to be Catholic and I Know I am not that person. But like I said, that is why I respect them.
• India
9 Dec 07
I was born a Catholic. But, I began to have my own ideas later in life. I have no idea what I am right now; but, I am defenitely not an atheist. Neither do I follow any organised religion. About my kids, I prefer to send them to a secular school. Catholic schools are not that bad. They leave non-catholic students alone, and the quality of the education is quite high. But, I don't think I would send my kids to a catholic school as catholic kids. Catholic kids in a catholic school have something called catechism, where they are taught that they are sinners, that they are the only chosen ones of God, that there is a last judgment day, that they will go to hell if they are not good, and so on and so forth.. things that Christ himself never said anywhere in the Bible. I guess I don't want my kids to imbibe all these ideas.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Dec 07
That is why I couldn't see sending a non-Catholic to a Catholic school.
@liera0 (280)
• Philippines
9 Dec 07
I had my high school in a catholic school run by RVM sisters. I had classmates that are not catholic. We even have non-catholic teachers then. Nothing seems to be wrong with it. They had follow the rules but there are things they don't do and school respected it though. Though at times the school gives masses they go with us to the church and just sit there. When in our senior years the school imposed on us to do some cathechism they also go with us. They are paired to catholics and they give bible stories. I don't know with other schools though. Maybe they are quiet strict on some things.
1 person likes this
@estherlou (5020)
• United States
9 Dec 07
I remember reading years ago a book by Benny Hinn. He went to Catholic schools when he was young and is pretty far away from being a Catholic. Some parents send their kids to Catholic schools just for the education that includes Biblical principals and morals, and being taught about Jesus and the importance of prayer in your life. I don't think you would have to worry about the child being forced to become Catholic unless they wanted to.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 07
That may be the reason some parents wouldn't send their kids to Catholic school, the fear that Johnny or jane will want to be a Catholic.Not everyone thinks Catholicism is a great path and they may like the idea of a better education but reject to the religious part of a Catholic school.
• Canada
9 Dec 07
i dont know where you live , but im in canada and from what i understand you cant send you kids to grade 1-8 school unless you baptise the child .. i think
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Dec 07
My mom went to Catholic school in Canada and wasn't Catholic. During the mass times, she and her siblings went to the library or something so they didn't have to participate in the mass. If what you say is true, then they must have changed the rules since then.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 07
I'm atheist and my children go to a Catholic school. It comes down to the quality of the educational choices we have. Option A was the public schools that are over crowded and under funded. They only had room for my Kindergartener and were planning on sending my 2nd grader to another district somewhere else. The Catholic school which is just 3 blocks away had room and accepted both of them. It is a good school, the kids enjoy it. But I have to balance the religious teaching they get there with what I believe. I don't want them brainwashed into believing. I guess you could say they are 2nd generation going to Catholic schools. I went for 13 years but my dad didn't believe in god. And if he did he never mentioned it and he sure wasn't Catholic any more. There are times I feel a little hypocritical but I have to do what is best for my kids. I don't try to convince them god doesn't exist and I sure don't bring it up with other people's kids. I try to give them enough information to make informed decision on what to believe. My 7yo says she believes in god but has not asked to go to church (she thinks it is boring) or to go any further with being Catholic. She knows she isn't baptized like the other kids (they did a worksheet on it and she had to write in "not baptized" and that was it). They will be making their First Communion soon so I'm sure the topic will come up. My son is 6 and says he doesn't believe in god. I think all the religious stuff goes right over his head still.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 07
If a Catholic school is the best school and you are comfortable with it then you are not being hypocritical. You are not pretending to be Catholic so your kids become Catholic all along you are an atheist. Now that is hypocritical.It sounds like you are making sure your kids are exposed to all points of view and you are letting them decide what to believe or not. That is great.
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I wouldnt send my kid to Catholic school. If you hang out with catholics, you run the risk of catching it.
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13146)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I was curious to see what the responses to this would be and I have to admit several were very good. For myself it would depend on the school and how much they stress the religion. Some Catholic schools may be catholic but they do not force feed the religion on the pupils. It also depends on what grade level you are talking about, that can make a big difference. I have found grade schools seem to stress it more then the high schools or colleges. Most Catholic colleges I have found do not push the religion on to students. They might require them to take one or two religious courses to round out the education but it is usually one that could be offered at any public school as well.
• United States
9 Dec 07
I went to a Catholic school as a child and I was not Catholic. I did not participate in any of the Catholic tranditions such as Ash Wednesday or the way that Catholics take communion. I was not scarred or anything by the school. My parents were fearful of the public schools, so until 4th grade, I was in a Catholic school. The nuns and the priest knew that not every child was Catholic, so they acted accordingly to the childrens' real religions.
1 person likes this