Religion in Public Schools

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Religion in the Classroom


In the past Religion was confined to the state now with religious
freedom everything has changed or at least started to change. In order for
religion to be in a private school now it is again trying to be in Public
schools. People ask "why can't freedom to acknowledge god be enjoyed again
by children in every schoolroom across this land?" In the past, a long time
ago children always prayed before class started and before lunch. But
things have changed, "in 1791 the separation of church and state" started.
Although it was made clear about the separation of the two "as late as 1951
some twenty states permitted schools to begin the day by reading aloud a
passage of the bible." Bu t that had to stop. People didn't have the same
beliefs when it comes to religion, if a family absent even believe in god
why should their child be forced to pray? On many different occasions
questions similar to this one were brought up and complained about. That
is what started it all real big.

When complaining, arguing and fighting all started over the silent
moment. In 1978 a few lawyers got together and considered a constitutional
law. The original law said that public school teachers in gr ades 1-6
"shall announce that a period of silence, not to exceed one minute, shall
be observed for meditation." This law did not work for long, because it
still allowed oral prayer in public high schools. Later in 1981, the
Alabama State Senator D onald G. Holmes successfully passed a bill that
included all grades calling it "the moment of silence" this law said that
"the teacher (was) to announce that the silent moment may be used for
voluntary prayer." Although it would have to be si lent prayer. Even after
this new law started the lawyers that were opposed to this were trying to
say that students "do not have a right to pray in school" silently or
otherwise because of growing impressions that affect their life. The
silent mom ent supposedly "(forced) religion on children." I don't agree
with that at all, if there has to be a moment of silence then any child can
use that moment however he or she wants, it does not necessarily have to be
used fro prayer. Usually "the chi ldren who have been brought up with
prayer or some type of religion are usually proven to be better" kids.

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I
have friends who go to private schools where praying in class out loud is
perfectly O.K. and normal. This praying in the classroom usually would
have a pretty good size affect on the rest of a person's life. Although
when praying aloud it could force one type of religion on a student rather
than having them have more of a choice of what type of religion they want
or if they even want to ha ve a religion. When there would be the religion
in the classrooms. "School children not participating in the prayers or
the bible readings (would be) asked or required to leave the room."0 This
has been another big dispute because the bill of rig hts states that there
shall be "freedom of religion"1 therefore this means that if a person does
not believe in god or what ever the instance might be then they don't have
to. This means if you want to have any type of religion you may. The
childr en who are forced to leave the classroom to stand in the hall are
forced to make a statement that says "we do not believe in te god of te
state (or) we do not believe that prayer should be publicly displayed in a
public schoolhouse."This was all thought to be by mainly every one all
wrong, therefore if a child wished not to participate in the pledge o
allegiance or what ever it might be they did not have to leave the
classroom, stand silently in the halls, or write a statement in stead they
were allowed to just sit quietly in their seats.

Religion in public schools would be good for certain students but the
silent moment is good enough for now. Since religion has been tried in
public schools and hasn't exactly worked, the groups of children who wish
to have prayer meetings with other school members are allowed to have
meetings, groups, clubs, ect. before, at lunch or after school.

"Religion (in the public schools) can change a persons life"3 if a
parent wants their child to have religion they can send their child to a
private school and if a parent does not want their child to pressured in to
having a religion they should be able to send their child to a public
school and if he or she wishes to atend meetings then they can do so on
their own.

Religion can change a person life sometimes for the better, but then
again sometimes for the worse, although the silent moment cannot affect
anything "freedom to acknowledge god in every school room across this
land,"4 wouldn't always be a bad idea.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

"School Board Bans Open Forums to Prohibit a Student Group Prayer."\Christ
Today\(February 1, 1985) 48-49.

Bosmajian, Haig. "To Pray or Not to Pray"\The Humanist
Magazine,\(January/February, 198 5) 13-17.

Gest, Ted. "What High Court Heard About School Prayer."\U.S.
News,\(December 17, 1984) 71.

Lewis, C. Anne. "Creeping Religiosity and Federal Education Policy."\PHI
Delta Kappan,\(November, 1984) 163-164.

Roberts, Fransis. "The Uproar Over Sch ool Prayer."\Parents,\(January
18,1985) 55-57.




FOOTNOTES


Fransis Roberts, "The Uproar Over School Prayer,"\Parents,\(November,
1984), p.38.

Roberts, p.39.

Roberts, p.38

Beth Spring, "Can St ates Allow Prayer in Public Schools?"\News
World,\(January 18, 1985), p.56.

Spring, p.57

Roberts, p.38

Spring, p.57

Ted Gest, "What High Court Heard About School Prayer,"\U.S.
News,\(December 17, 1984), p.71 .

Haig Bosmajian, "To Pray or Not To Pray,"\The
Humanist\(January/February, 1985), p.14.

0Bosmajian, p.15.

1Gest, p.71.

2Bosmajian, p.15.

3Anne Lewis, "Creeping Religiosity and Federal Education Policy,"\PHI
Delta Kappan,\(November, 1984), p.163.

4Roberts, p.38



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