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2000

Religion in Schools

As a free country we do not realize how precious something really is until we lose it. In 1962, school prayer and Bible reading was taken out of public schools throughout America. The Supreme Court ruled that no teacher is allowed to teach the Bible as a way of life, pray, or even say the name of Jesus. Having no religion in our public schools is one of the biggest struggles across America today.

Many questions have been asked about the issue of no religion in schools. For example, should it even be a part of the cirriculum? The cirriculum today is only made to teach the Bible as a piece literature or fiction. They do not teach it as truth or fact. Which in a sense is a good thing because they do not try and persuade a student into thinking differently than what their parents have taught them. Secondly, should it be left outside the classroom? The truth is the teachers deal with the situation in three ways: not having it at all, doing it in planned activities, or the factual study of the Bible. Thirdly, should it even be an issue at school? It should be in schools but not in a way that it is forced upon a student, but the student should have the option to take a Bible study class as an elective in high school. Nobody likes to be forced into something they do not want to do (Pedraza).

The number of various crimes committed by students across America has become disappointing and sickening. When teenage girls are throwing their babies away in an alleyway or trash can or teenage boys are robbing defenseless elderly couples, obviously something is wrong. A man named, Noe Prado says he thinks that it is because most of the students have grown up in a home with no kind of values (Prado).

The situation has been getting better now that students are taking a stand and fighting for their right to pray in the classroom. As a result of this stand, students have organized activities like, ?See you At the Pole.? ?See You At the Pole? is a nation-wide prayer meeting that happens once a year. Christian students, family members and faculty come together and pray to God for the safety of our nation and for the salvation of students all across America. Another thing that has been done to make the situation better is that students have student led bible study every morning before school. This has brought more unity in the relationships between classmates.

The Tulsa World asked one question to students in various high schools in the Tulsa area. The question asked was do the students think that public schools should sponsor different Christian clubs. Elissa Morris of Bristow High School said that Christian clubs should deserve sponsorship as much as any other school sponsored activity. Abby Finkelman, a homeschooled student in Tulsa said that she thinks that if the school is sponsoring more than one religion then yes, however if it is for just one religion then no. A student of Broken Arrow Senior High School, Jill Richardson, replied that religious activities associated with school crosses the line with the separation of church and state. She also thinks that freedom of religion is a whole other issue in itself

(Question).

Another part to look at in this battle is whether or not having religion associated with schools clashes with the First Amendment that says we have the right to whatever religion we choose. It looks as though the first amendment is being used to hurt the rights

of students of all denominations. The situation in schools becomes pretty crazy when students are getting expelled for singing Christmas carols at an ?X-mas? show. It is also

becoming hypersensitive when a ? moment of silence? is known as a defiance of your own liberty. ?This country is on the verge of hysteria.? The right to have religion in schools is not at all clashing with the Constitution for a couple of reasons. The first one is the student doesn?t have to go to the classes. First, it can be offered as an elective or be done before school hours, like it is today. The second reason is it would not be taught from a teacher?s own personal point of view, but from an educational stand point. The last is religion should be taught and is just as important as the study of literature, language, or anything else (Prado).

Everyday is a constant struggle in a war between religious freedom and schools in the United States. It has become a confusing and sickening mess. Something needs to be done. It is a sad shame that a student cannot sing a simple Christmas carol without getting in trouble. It is alarming that student crime is on the rise due to the lack of anchorage to any religious or moral values. Our country is in dire need of help before it is too late.


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