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Parent concerned by school’s religious teaching

DEAR HARRIETTE: My son’s teacher is teaching doctrinal errors related to my religion, despite the school’s claim of being nonsectarian. This discrepancy has raised concerns for me as a parent, as I value the importance of accurate and respectful education, particularly when it comes to matters of faith and belief. I am torn between wanting to address the inaccuracies being presented to my daughter and respecting the school’s policies regarding religious neutrality. I worry about the impact of these doctrinal errors on my daughter’s understanding of our faith and the potential confusion it may create for other children. — Doctrinal Errors

DEAR DOCTRINAL ERRORS: You absolutely should speak up and talk to your daughter’s teacher as well as the school administrator. The fact that the school claims to be nonsectarian does not give it the right to be inaccurate. In all likelihood, what your daughter shared with you was either a misinterpretation of what the teacher shared or a mistake on the teacher’s part. Even when intentions are pure, people can make mistakes. That includes the possibility that the teacher may not understand details of your religious doctrine, or there could be multiple understandings of certain things. It’s hard for me to be specific without knowing exactly what upset you. Nonetheless, you can and should speak up and talk to the school about this. Be prepared to share evidence of your understanding of this doctrine so that if a debate ensues, you are not speaking only personally, but with some authority.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been harboring feelings for a guy I really like for a long time, and I am considering expressing my emotions to him. I believe this is the right approach, as I have been holding on to these feelings for a while and would like to see if there is potential for a romantic relationship. I have weighed the pros and cons of expressing my feelings and taking the initiative to date him, but I am still hesitant about the potential outcome. While I am eager to pursue a relationship with him, I am also concerned about risking our friendship or making things awkward between us. — Push or Pull Over

DEAR PUSH OR PULL OVER: What is the worst thing that can happen if you speak up? Your overture could make things awkward for a period of time, but if you two are truly friends, the awkwardness shouldn’t last forever. I say go for it. Tell your friend that you would like to explore a relationship with him. You have been friends for a long time, and you think there is a chance that there could be more between you. Ask him what he thinks about it. If he agrees, go for it slowly to see how well you like each other in this new way. If he is hesitant, tell him it’s OK. You just figured it was worth it to put the idea out there to see if there was a possibility for you two. If there isn’t, you hope the two of you can remain close friends.

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