Critical Commentary – Pray in School’s

Posted on October 10, 2012 by

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Recently, there has been a lot of controversy over the issue of whether or not children should be allowed to pray in schools. This has to do with all students be they Christians, Hindus, Muslims, or practice any other faith or religion.


The reason for the concern over pray in schools is due to teachers and parents worries over the impact it will have on the classroom. Teachers are concerned about the interruption of students leaving class to pray or perform religious practices and the class work they miss during this time. Parents of the children that do not pray during school are concerned because their children’s classmates are disrupting them by leaving the classroom in the middle of lessons. Parents of the children that do pray believe it is their right and their duty to say their prays. Either way, I think that children’s education should come first.


There is also the issue of bullying and teasing that can come out of pray in schools. It could be the students that leave the classroom to pray that are the bullies to the students that choose not to pray during school hours or the students that pray could be the targets of teasing from their peers. Plus, if religion becomes a part of school’s then children that are of the minority will be viewed differently by their peers. Either way, both are generating a school unreceptive to learning and that creates tensions between classmates.


Also, there is the issue of showing favoritism for certain groups of people. At one high school in Canada, Muslim students were requesting pray rooms. This creates a problem because the school loses space for classroom needs and this can ostracize other students with different religious backgrounds. If the school allows Muslim students to pray in a separate room, then they will have to give other religious groups their own pray rooms. Plus, Muslims say five prayers a day at specific times, so they will not just need a room for one session, which would be easier to manage, but they need a room available to them throughout the day. I’m all for allowing children to practice their religion and be a part of something that makes them think deeper about life, but where do we draw the line?


The supreme court has ruled that everyone has the freedom of religion, but does that mean we have to sacrifice our children’s education for it? Pray in schools means there will be more interruptions during class time and more teasing and bullying  amongst peers.


In my opinion, religion is a private part of each person’s identity where as, school is a public institute, as well as publicly funded. I’m not saying children shouldn’t be allowed to pray in schools. I just think that during the school hours it should be about education. Before and after school I think that children should be welcome to use empty classrooms for pray or religious organization meetings, but as for school hours I think it should remain an nonreligious event.


The supreme court has already ruled in favor of the separation between church and the state. If people want religion incorporated into their children’s education, then they can do so in a private school. As far as I’m concerned public schools should be religious free.

Sources:

http://www.thelocal.no/page/view/hagen-halts-muslim-prayer-room-at-oslo-school

http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2012/09/22/muslims-want-permanent-prayer-rooms-in-high-schools

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/08/first-amendment-prayer-fight-splits-georgia-town/

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