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Thread: Religion in public schools

  1. #46

    Default Re: Religion in public schools

    I know i'm late to this conversation but just wanted to put my 2 cents in.

    I personally feel Religion should not be taught in schools unless as a history lesson along with other Religions.

    If you want Religion to be taught in schools there are a lot of private schools out there and scholarships to be had. If you still can't afford it and want them to learn Sunday School always works, did for me anyway.

    As for after school stuff I personally don't care unless it is paid for by the school.

  2. #47

    Default Re: Religion in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by JustFishing View Post
    That is referring to extracurricular activities. A teacher led Chess Club, that is not approved by the school, but only using the building. as a place to meet, would not fall under the extracirricular activity definition. It is merely using a public building, to meet, like a school or public library.

    So as long as the school isn't officially, or unofficially, approving the clubs activities, a teacher would be allowed to lead a Bible Study in a School, or Library, or any other public building where they allow secular clubs to meet.

    That's the law as stands now. Again, that is called equal access.
    Look, I don't want to nitpick, but you're repeating what I wrote way back on page two.

    My issue with your last post was pertaining to this quote :"Teacher's are allowed to lead a group after or before school, but not during school. After, or before school, they are like any other citizen. They don't give up their off duty rights, because of their particuliar profession."

    That's not nessacarily true. By definition, extracurricular activities occur outside of the normal school day.

    Therefore, any club that meets before or after school would be extracurricular and teacher can't act as religious group leaders, even though they are "off duty" as a teacher.

    As I mentioned previously, a loophole exists that allows religious clubs to be recognized as "community groups" as long as the school doesn't recognize extracurricular clubs.

    To put it another way, a teacher who works at a school where school recognized clubs meet before or after school can not meet with kids during those times to discuss religion. Even though the teacher is "off duty".

  3. #48
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    Default Re: Religion in public schools

    Gentlemen (assuming you are both males),

    Rather than trying to interpret the statutes, consider the original question:

    "Looking for some opinions.

    Is it appropriate for teachers to lead Bible study / hymn singing groups for students at public school before or after school hours? (middle school or high school)"


    I think I've made my opinion and the reason for it abundantly clear. What are your opinions and why?
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  4. #49

    Default Re: Religion in public schools

    I brought this up because this exact scenario is taking place at the school where I work.

    Three male teachers started a "fellowship" group with students before school. Two of these guys are probably the two most giving, ethical and well meaning people that I have ever met. They personify all that is good with Christianity. The third guy embodies all that is wrong with Christianity. ie. hippocrite, elitist, and just a jerk in general. He also has some Bible interpretations that I consider to be way out on the fringe.

    The thought of the third guy preaching to innocent middle school kids makes me sick.

    It took me awhile to form my opinion, but I don't think public school teachers should lead religious groups with their students while at school.

    Furthermore, I think parents shouldn't allow "lay" teachers to influence their kids religious upbringing. What religious training have these teachers had? Religion can be very powerful and should be treated with respect.

    Having untrained teachers teach religion is like giving a monkey a machine gun.

    Where I come from, you need a degree in science to teach science. How can we let anyone teach something as important as religion?

    If parents want thier kids to learn about Jesus, they should teach them themselves at home or send them to church or Sunday school.

  5. #50

    Default Re: Religion in public schools

    I wonder why it is that people must give up religion when they enter school? We don't force people to give up their race, their nationality, or even their style of speech (just listen to how kids talk these days)? Why do we try so hard to protect certain freedoms, but not others?

    If programs are held before or after school, I'm not sure what the problem is. Some say that it would be better if it were held at night or on weekends? Isn't that still before or after school? How far before or after does it need to be? Plus, there are a lot fewer behavioral and criminal problems out of these kids than many other groups, such as athletes, so why do we discourage this?

    Someone also made a comment about black history month. This hits quite close to me, because my wife grew up in a town whose population was 97% black and black history was taught all year. This school was honored numerous times by the Michigan Department of Education and the US Departmetn of Education for teaching black history. However, none of their students, my wife included, were taught anything in school about people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Jonas Salk, Patrick Henry, Marquis de Lafayette, Abraham Lincoln, or Dwight Eisenhower. My wife learned about those people from her parents. When her parents complained to the school board and the state DOE, they were told that learning abotu all of history wasn't important -- only black history was important.

    Juat a few thoughts....

  6. #51

    Default Re: Religion in public schools

    I think it's wrong because teachers are entrusted by their local community to be role models and to be someone students can trust and believe.

    They are given access to the communities most valuable resource, their children. They are trusted by the community.

    Students usually weigh a teacher's point of view greater than some other random adult.

    I think teachers preaching their relgious beliefs in a school setting takes advantage of the trust that the community holds in them.

    The same goes for political beliefs.

  7. #52
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    Default Re: Religion in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by skipster View Post
    I wonder why it is that people must give up religion when they enter school? We don't force people to give up their race, their nationality, or even their style of speech (just listen to how kids talk these days)? Why do we try so hard to protect certain freedoms, but not others?
    No one has to give up their religion in school. We don't give up our sexuality when we enter school, we just wait until we're in an appropriate place to exercise it. The same should apply to religion.
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  8. #53

    Default Re: Religion in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Ground&Pound View Post
    Look, I don't want to nitpick, but you're repeating what I wrote way back on page two.

    My issue with your last post was pertaining to this quote :"Teacher's are allowed to lead a group after or before school, but not during school. After, or before school, they are like any other citizen. They don't give up their off duty rights, because of their particuliar profession."

    That's not nessacarily true. By definition, extracurricular activities occur outside of the normal school day.

    Therefore, any club that meets before or after school would be extracurricular and teacher can't act as religious group leaders, even though they are "off duty" as a teacher.

    As I mentioned previously, a loophole exists that allows religious clubs to be recognized as "community groups" as long as the school doesn't recognize extracurricular clubs.

    To put it another way, a teacher who works at a school where school recognized clubs meet before or after school can not meet with kids during those times to discuss religion. Even though the teacher is "off duty".
    For school recognized clubs true, but if the club is not recognized officially, or unofficially, by the school, the teacher can lead a Bible Study the same as any other citizen. That was my point. I hope we are clear now.

    Just because it takes place in school, doesn't necessarily make it an extracurricular activity, if it is not recognized by the school as such.

    For instance, a school allows hunter safety programs after hours in the school. That would be considered a secular activity taken place in the school that is not recognized by the school as an extracurricular activity. And if the school allows secular clubs to use the school they must allow religious clubs. And if that religious club asks to use the school, either before or after school, and the religious club is not recognized by the school, the teacher can lead the Bible study. The teacher doesn't give up her constitutional rights before or after school hours, just because of her position.


    "On September 3, 2004 the ruling of a federal court of appeals in our favor blew open the doord in public schools by deciding that a school teacher has the right to teach to elementary students in a public school classroom immediately after the last bell. Our case of Wigg v. Sioux Falls School District is the first of its kind on the nation."

    http://www.lc.org/newsletter/lib/2004/1204report.pdf

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