Toelrance in The Arts Scotch Plains Fanwood Schools
This petition is in response to a petition entitled "No Religious Songs in Scotch Plains Fanwood Schools". Apparently two songs at this year's Terrill Middle School Winter Concert are Christian songs and some parents find this inappropriate. According to the petition "having children sing religious lyrics repeatedly, as a requirement to participate in a public school enrichment activity is quite simply inappropriate and wrong." Why? The implication is that including these songs (by merely singing them) is insensitive to people of other religious beliefs. The concerts I've attended in the school district had a diverse selection of songs and I've always been amazed at the breadth of talent our students show. Kudos to our students and music teachers. I have personally enjoyed hearing students sing about the Maccabean Revolt and the miracle of one day's oil burning for eight days - as taught in the Jewish faith. I have also heard black spirituals, Kwanzaa and Muslim songs. At no point did I ever feel compelled to convert to any religion. The arts allow people to express a range of emotions, beliefs and cultural history. Some of that is Christian and some is not - but banning any song with any religious content is wrong. By banning any type of age appropriate music we are being intolerant. If you believe that our community is made out of a rich and diverse population and that sharing our music and traditions only enriches us - I invite you to sign this petition or not ...it's your choice.