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Reports & Essays: Social Issues - Religion

"AND""OR"

Religion In Public Schools
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 h ave 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. 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 al ways 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 THESIS Freedom to acknowledge God by children in every school room across this land can sometimes but not always be acknowledged.

 



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