Since we moved to Texas 4 months ago, my second grade son has been complaining increasingly of being bullied for not being Christian. He's been told that he and his family are going to hell (soon, according to one girl, since god will be destroying the Earth very soon), has been tattle on twice for admitting that he doesn't believe in god, has had other students verbally gang up on him several times, etc. My third grade daughter tells me that she experiences harassment, too, and therefore has started lying to people and pretending to be Christian to avoid the meanness. I just wrote emails to both teachers asking that they discuss religious tolerance with their classes. What else could/should I do, or is that all I can do realistically?
One of the big guns you can bring to the table is the Freedom from Religion Foundation:
If they want to insist on religious intimidation, they may wish to think twice if legal action is brought, which FFRF can help you with, if such is the direction you want to go in. At minimum, contact them, outline the situation, and they can advise you how best to proceed.
My mother was a teacher. I would encourage you to stay vocal about it. In most schools, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Of course, I suppose you run the risk of making it worse. It would suck to go in the closet.
Welcome to Texas!
We had a similar issue, but with an older student. Several cowboy hat wearing fools were threatening to gang up on my boy. They had a problem with him because he was one of those Atheist Yankees. My kid was trying to do the right thing, not wanting to fight, especially in school, but also not wanting to seem like a wuss. He discussed it with us and I talked to the principal. The asshat principal's only comment was that it since it takes two to fight my kid must be instigating it. It took awhile but that principal is no longer working for the school system.
Nothing really, we had no proof to back it up plus they had not actually done anything besides push him a bit and make threats. We moved not long after so he ended up in a different school. We are in Jacksonville Florida and the school system totally sucks.
We used to live in Vermont, and what a difference in the school system. Of course it was not perfect but the kids seemed pretty cool. New England has a bad rap about being judgmental but I am starting to think that was a rumor spread by those in the judgmental Bible belt.
I am the same way when it comes to confrontation, but you know what they say about mama bear and their cubs.
Hopefully, a few will surprise you. I am an out gay in my "little" town of 100,000, just an hour and a half away from you, and I am well received. Those San Antone folks are probably suspicious of you mostly because you are from California:) You and your San Francisco values!
That is a cute response for your kid to have about the gay thing.
You are closer to Austin than me (if I remember correctly). I'm about 95 miles east of Austin. I think I get along well here because I am just redneck enough, and there are so many professors here due to Texas A&M (which I got my doctorate from in 95). I run with an odd group of progressives and free-spirited rednecks. I hope you can carve out your niche. Keep looking. We are out there!
It is funny that you mention flat tires. When I was up north it would only take a few minutes before someone came and offered to help with a car problem. I have helped several people here in Florida who have said that nobody offered to help them with their car problems. One poor guy waited for 90 minutes until I came around and helped, and that was at a busy post office lot.
I am waiting to see the locals line up, I have yet to see it and I have been here ten years. I am not saying I have not seen folks help others here but if they do they usually are trying to get you to join their church.
When I was up north I could start a conversation with a cashier or another customer in line, here, they look at you like your crazy. Speaking of cashiers, omg, rudest I have ever seen, most of them will not even speak a word during the time they are supposed to be servicing you.
Or letting a customer ahead of you because they have a couple of items, they look at you like you lost your mind. I let them ahead all the time unless I am in a rush, only twice has anyone let me ahead in line here in Florida.
Those are just a very few examples.