Hi, I have a difficulty with one of my teachers at school. She often puts down my religion by comparing it to other Abrahamic religions and talks about in in an unflattering light. In my country, my religion is the majority but in my opinion, faces a lot of bigotry, more so than the minorities. We don’t have control over our religious sites, we can’t endorse schools based on our religion, and we are often portrayed as fascist when I can guarantee that we are the furthest from that label. I want to confront my teacher and tell her how her misinformed and one sided statements are offensive, not only to me but to other students of my religion as well. However I don’t want to be seen as a bigot, or rigid in my beliefs. This is difficult since majority of my peer group are exposed to media that deliberately manipulates information to distort my religion, which is indigenous to my country and has survived both the Mughal Invasion as well as the British Empire. Can I have some advice on how to make my stance and concerns clear without being labelled as a bigot?

Hey there! Thank you for writing in and I hope you were able to find a caring adult who could help you specifically  with that question. I’ve been thinking about your question and I feel like we can break this down into two fundamental issues: first, how to deal when your teacher says uncomfortable things and second, how to defend yourself without bigotry.

The first one is to do exactly what you’ve already done: reach out to a caring  adult, like another teacher or your parent and tell them about what’s going on. Try to describe what’s been happening and then explain to them that it makes you feel uncomfortable. If you feel like you cannot continue in that class you should ask your caring adult about making an official report. You’ll need to document what’s been happening so make sure you write down the incident and give that report to your principal.

Second, you can totally defend yourself without bigotry. Your teacher crosses a line when she deliberately makes unfair comparisons between your religion and others. In turn, you must be able to defend your own religion without putting down another group or showing prejudice to people who are not part of your religion. If you find yourself in this scenario again, I recommend that you focus on the positives of your religion, consider pointing out the things that are untrue in their statements, and most importantly, find a way to end the conversation. You don’t have to sit through that, even if they are your teacher.

Best of luck,

Auntie Jane

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Topics: Education|Intolerance|Spirituality

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