crucifixes are allowed in public school classrooms. I know I keep wading in with my strong opinions ( that's part of the fun of blogging!) but I have to say that I do think secular schools - as opposed to faith schools - should be free of religious icons.
Let me make it quite clear that I do not think that individual pupils or teachers should be banned from wearing religious icons or items of clothing, provided these are in line with a general school dress code/ safety regulations, nor do I have any problem with religious icons appearing as part of an educational display, for example. However, I do think that to have a cross or other religous icon prominently displayed in, for example, the school hall or the headteacher's study sends out a message that the ethos of the school is governed by that faith rather than another.
Some people may argue that Britain is a "christian country" (I am not so sure it is anymore) and so it is acceptable for a Christian symbol to be displayed rather than any other. This is a fair point, but I am not sure it is enough - would adults want crosses prominently displayed in a secular workplace in Britain, for example? I know also that making crucifixes "illegal" is going to provoke strong headlines. I don't particularly buy into the argument that crucifixes should be banned because children may find them distressing. I am much more concerned about the levels of violence children are exposed to in video games for example - but I am happy to be proved wrong if anyone has been traumatised by the sight of a crucifix in their classroom!
This year I received a calendar from a Christian charity I support. I needed a calendar for my office and briefly considered using this one. I felt I couldn't because it had bible verses and overtly religious pictures on it. Students sometimes come into my office to talk about potentially sensitive areas - such as an unplanned pregnancy - and I did not want anything on the wall that might, however wrongly, give a student the impression that they were not in a neutral space where people of all faiths or none and with different beliefs and perspectives and experiences would not be treated equally.
This is not to say that my faith does not have an impact on my job, I hope it informs how I act and behave in every aspect of life. Faith entering into every aspect of your life is not the same as it being worn as a badge or ostensible symbol - and for what, and with what effect on others? Sometime it is the more Christian thing not to wear our faith on our sleeves, as long as we have it in our hearts.