Letter of the Day: Does being head girl trump even religion?
Thanks for the views which The Gleaner expressed in its editorial titled 'How St Hilda's erred', published Friday, October 9, 2015.
Apart from the religious rites, there are other things that must also be considered as to whether or not this student would make a suitable head girl.
According to Jehovah's Witness teachings, which can be found in the denomination's Watchtower and Awake magazines and the 'School and Jehovah's Witnesses' brochure (1983), which is attached, Jehovah's Witnesses are not supposed to take up leadership positions in school, as they are politically neutral and are not part of the world.
They consider the school system to be a microcosm of the real world and a training ground for future politicians. Because of this teaching, I declined to be a prefect in high school, so I am surprised to see that this Jehovah's Witness student - although there are claims she is not - did put herself forward as a candidate for head girl. Apparently, she isn't aware of what her religion teaches.
Jehovah's Witnesses cannot participate in civic activities such as saluting the flag, saying the national pledge, or singing the national anthem. They cannot play competitive sports on a school team and are strongly discouraged from participating in extra-curricular activities with non-Witnesses, as non-Witnesses are considered to be worldly people and are, therefore, bad association.
against higher education
It was for these reasons that I removed myself from my school's badminton team. The religion is also against higher education - according to The Watchtower, March 15 1969, p 171:
"Many schools now have student counsellors who encourage one to pursue higher education after high school, to pursue a career with a future in this system of things. Do not be influenced by them. Do not let them 'brainwash' you with the Devil's propaganda to get ahead, to make something of yourself in this world. The world has very little time left! Any 'future' this world offers is no future!"
All of these things would lead to conflicts and make it difficult for someone to serve as head girl or head boy, in my opinion, as he or she would be required to show leadership to the student body in these various areas.
In the St Hilda's scenario, it seems the head girl position was more important to her and her mother than adhering to what the religion teaches. If this is the case, perhaps she should be appointed head girl.