One of the biggest reasons is due to the argument concerning whether or not religion should be allowed in school. It is believed, by many, that allowing education and religion to coincide is going against the first amendment. This argument is one that dates back to the eighteen hundreds, and has yet to be resolved. It is an American citizen’s right to freely express and learn about religion wherever they please, including the public school system. Many individuals believe that the first amendment prohibits religion to be taught or exercised in a public school setting.
The absence of religion in public schools seems to be fine with the public since many parents do not want their children to make religious choices that differ from their family tradition (Passe and Willox). Does this controversy makes it difficult for teachers to teach the required material in schools since religion can be involved in historic events? Proponents of bringing religion back into the public school curriculum state that religion is needed in order for students to understand the Social Studies curriculum and current world events. Religion played a major role in the Crusades, the formation of Pakistan and India, and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute just to name a few. One reason for why religion needs to be involved in the teaching of the Crusades is because it focused solely on religion.
However, American citizens have been debating for many years, whether organized prayer should be an option or obligation in public schools. Some people believe that organized prayer or religious classes would be a benefit to young people and should be allowed in American public schools. Others: however, see this as an affront to the First Amendment and believe that religion does not belong in the classroom, and should never be permitted under any circumstances. Supporters of organized prayer believe the school day should not just revolve around training the student’s mind academically, but also spiritually. “Far more than the mere teaching of facts, true education concerns itself with establishing beliefs and values” (Salter 176).
Some people believe that teaching about religion should not be allowed considering it violates the separation of church and state, but that is not true. There are many issues regarding religion in public schools, however exercising your personal religion independently is not one of them. (Leitch, 1) Many believe that public schools are for educating, not proselytizing. Mixing religion and school is not appropriate since schools are public and religion is private. Public schools are open to everyone, whether Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist or Christian.
Aside from the separation of church and states comes one of the vastly debatable topics of education allowing religion which is prayer in school. While a few believe that prayer in school is constructive to the development of a child and their faith, others may conclude that it could completely denounce the faith of a child. Because this is an ongoing controversy further research on whether religion should or should not be allowed in public education is usually boils down to two major points the First Amendment and is religion good for our children? Could we potentially have a compromise or could the two opposing sides meet somewhere in the middle? The first major reason for those who support religion in our schools look to their own countries Constitution... ... middle of paper ... ... the Establishment Clause.
There is a great deal of ongoing debate surrounding the issue of religion in public schools. When you consider the rights of all Americans under the Constitution’s First Amendment, it is outrageous for the United States of America to have “freedom of religion”, and then place excessive limitations on students and teachers in public schools. There are a growing number of people opposed to the idea of religion being in school for a variety of reasons, from which the Government’s solution was to impose restrictions on all religions and deny others their rights in the defense of protecting the rights of a few. Teachers and students of all faiths should be able to attend a public school and freely express their beliefs without these limitations being imposed. Currently in the United States of America there is a separation of church and state that exists when it comes to the appearance of religion in public schools.
“They find a state-sponsored Christian prayer to be deeply offensive and an attack on their freedom of religion” (Robinson). That is why students who are of different religions would not participate in the prayer, and would then have to be excused due to their different beliefs. Which is why, due to the amount of religions, having numerous prayers would be more practical, ... ... middle of paper ... ... Should Not Include More Religion in the Curriculum." Opposing Viewpoints: Religion in America. Ed.
19 July 2015. Guidelines for religious expression in schools that were issued in a directive by Pres Clinton are discussed. Clinton believes, among other things, that students have the right to pray individually and in groups during the school day. Greenawalt, Kent. "Does God Belong in Public Schools?"
Others argue that it contradicts the constitution, and that many schools do not follow the constitution when teaching creationism and prayer in public schools. People who support the teaching of religions in public schools argue that it is essential for the students to learn the background of many religions in order to understand the cultural issues that materialize in the world today. Samuel Ayers and Shelly Reid are two educators at schools in Texas and they agree with this statement. They argue constant... ... middle of paper ... ...chool: The Experience of One Texas District. Social Studies, 96(1), 14-17.
These issues are based on the principles liberty of religious framed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, currently interpreted by the courts and according to accept a wide range of religious and educational organizations(Essex, 2012). Some of the current issues that are present in the public schools about religion are: Finding a common ground of freedom, Religious Liberty and Public Schools, The Student Religious Expression, Student Religious Attire or Distribution of Literature, Student Prayer, School Services and in graduation services, and one that cause more attention with the new cuts in budget and higher standards requirements is the Religious Holidays, Attendance, and Exemptions. Finding a common ground of freedom Parents and school officials in many communities have found common ground using the following strategies of including all stakeholders. Public schools belong to all citizens, and therefore should emu... ... middle of paper ... ...s. In Fossel, M. & Holstein, N.(Eds. ), School Law and the Public Schools: A Practical Guide for Educational Leaders (5th ed.)