My name is Cindy Ross and I am the parent of a child at Manor School. I am opposed to the dishonest and inappropriate proposal for a Waldorf charter school in the Ross Valley.
I am not opposed to the establishment of a charter school per se, although since 5.5 million dollars has already been cut from CA school budgets, I would hate to see more funding diverted away from our existing public schools. I am not opposed to the development of legitimate alternative educational programs. However, I believe Waldorf specifically is not appropriate in any public school system.
Unfortunately, some school districts in CA and other states already have permitted publicly funded Waldorf schools. This is because school officials and some parents have been misled into believing that Waldorf is a "holistic" and arts-based "alternative" method of education.
Waldorf is NOT "education", but the means to indoctrinate children in Anthroposophy, a religion established by Rudolf Steiner based on Gnostic Christianity, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and occult theory. Waldorf schools are the missionary arm of Anthroposophy. While most schools focus on Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmetic, Waldorf schools teach the "Three Rs" as Rosicrucianism, Reincarnation and Racism.
While Waldorf proponents refer to educating the "whole child" through a curriculum "infused with lessons of cultural diversity and environment stewardship.", they fail to mention that according to Steiner, "Negroes" are at a baby stage of evolutionary development, Jews no longer serve any purpose (although their original function was as a vessel for the Christ spirit), and intelligence is linked to Aryan qualities of blonde hair and blue eyes. Waldorf proponents also fail to mention that children are classified into "temperaments" (melancholic, choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic), based on their "karma".
Despite claims that a Waldorf charter school would not be sectarian, it is impossible to separate Waldorf "education" from Anthroposophy as a religious/spiritual system. Waldorf "seasonal celebrations" are based on medieval Christian feasts, including Michaelmas, Advent, Martinmas and even Halloween. Waldorf "nature tables" are religious altars. It is believed that, bringing "stones, shells, wood, fruit and so forth into the kindergarten...will communicate something to us about the One who created them." (From a 1995 presentation at the Waldorf International Kindergarten Conference in the UK.)
Waldorf "wet-on-wet" painting and form drawing is not "art". This method is used to teach children to duplicate religious icons with prescribed colors, so as to facilitate spiritual evolution. "Eurhythmy" is not physical education, but ritualized sacred dance. Knitting and "handwork" -- among the primary components of the Waldorf curriculum -- involve children copying patterns and
symbols important in Anthroposophy.
In Waldorf schools, children are not permitted to read regular text books; In fact young children are not taught to read at all. Children copy most of their work directly from the teacher. They are not permitted to use the color black, to watch TV, to use computers, or to play video games. While some of these restrictions may initially sound appealing, most people are not aware that they are based on the Anthroposophical belief that technology is the expression of a force called Ahriman, otherwise known as Lucifer or Satan. Ahriman is believed to incarnate macrocosmically in computers and even to be present in human-made materials, so that children at Waldorf schools are not permitted to play with plastic toys, nor even to be exposed to letters or words not printed in the "Waldorf style".
There is no actual separation of "church from state" in existing Waldorf "public" schools. The Oak Ridge Elementary School in Sacramento has altars in classrooms. The Novato Charter displays paintings of St. Michael with a crucifix and verses proclaiming:
"Michaelmas, The time to show both courage and form. Look well around inside we must wake. Trees may shake. I can stand the storm."
RVSD student goals state (in part) that students will be able to "demonstrate understanding, appreciation and application of fundamental concepts in the areas of math, science, humanities (including visual and performing arts), physical education and language". The goal of a Waldorf charter school is limited to creating "a new vision of society" based solely on the religious beliefs and practices of Anthroposophy.
Anthroposophists should be free to practice religion as they choose. However, they should not be "free" to get funding for a religious program misrepresented as a charter school.
I urge the Ross Valley School District to use whatever legal means available to put an end to this improper and illegal "proposal", once and for all. It is as inappropriate for there to be a Waldorf-inspired charter school in the Ross Valley School District, as it would be to have a Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim "inspired" one.