Religion back in Public SchoolsWhy is it wrong that the whole school have an opening prayer in the morning? When and why did the government take our right to do such a thing in the Mornings?

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wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The government didn't take away the right to pray, they took away the mandate to pray.  Once, all children were required to follow along in prayer each morning.  Eventually, this practice was ruled unconstitutional by the courts.  It isn't fair for a school to force students to pray.  Many schools still have a moment of silence in which students are free to pray or not pray.  Students are free to pray at any time, but the school cannot force students to do so.  Every school I worked at had it's own ways of handling pray.  At one school, the band and the football team circled up before each game and halftime show.  At another school, students gathered in the lobby each morning for prayer group.  At almost every school, there were events like "see you at the flagpole" where prayer was held and valued.  The big point to note is that all these prayers were student led.  You absolutely have the right to pray, but your school (if it is a public school) does not have the right to force your participation.

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with #6, what schools have done is assured your right to choose. Some students choose to pray, and some to not pray. Furthermore, having a common prayer structure - whether it is the prayer itself, or merely the physical setting - which is required is a limitation of rights. For instance, some religions do not allow members of both sexes to pray together; requiring students to do so is unacceptable.

Schools can, and should, provide an opportunity for personal reflection, and each student should be allowed the freedom of his or her own thoughts at that time.

Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator
When teachers or school administrators lead prayer, or any other religious ritual, it functions as a kind of identification with that religious tradition. Since teachers and administrators carry authority, their leadership of a religious ritual carries more weight than a group of students initiating the act on their own. To protect the comforts and religious liberties of those who don't wish to participate, public school authorities are banned from initiating such acts.
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The government didn't take away your right to pray in the morning.  You are absolutely free to pray in your own mind.  If the school has an official prayer, isn't it forcing you to hear its beliefs?  What if you don't like the prayer?  This is really a way of protecting your rights and those of your classmates.  This way, you can pray your own prayers and not have to hear what the government thinks the prayer should be.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it is best that public schools forsake forcing religious aspects upon its students. As the previous post mentioned, students who want to pray can do so at any time during the day. A mandatory school prayer forces something upon students that is non-educational and it assumes that all children will benefit from such an action. Such is not the case.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To protect the rights of individuals cetain rules are given to the group.

In countries where the government is officially secular, there are legal and moral reasons to keep public institutions from endorsing particular religions. This is a means of protecting the rights of individuals from government interference with a person's religious freedoms.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Not all children pray, and some children pray at certain times in certain ways that will not conform to this schedule. The problem with whole-school prayer like this is that it is usually going to fall in line more with one religion than another, and probably a Christian one.
wolfpac | Student

See I don't want religion forced on someone. All I want is where students can actively promote their religions if they want to without consequence.

najm1947 | Student

No one should be allowed to force anyone to follow a particular religion. Muslim's have be told by the God:

Let there be no compultion in religion,

The right path has surely been made distinct from the wrong,

Then whoever disbelieves in the transgressor,

And believes in God,

He has then got hold of the firm handle,

No breaking therefor:

And God is Hearing, Knowing.

God is the patron of those who believe,

He brings them out of darkness into the light;

And those who disbelieve (in Him),

Their patrons are the transgressors,

They bring them out of the light into the darkness.

These are the companions of the fire;

In it they abide.

(Quran 2:256,257)

In spite of their belief that they are in the right and in the light, they have been prohibited to force the followers of other religions to join Islam - There duty is just to inform them all what is right.

wanderista | Student

A lot of student's do not like the idea of having an affiliated religion, and public schools are the solution for this problem. I believe due to multiculturalism, it's unfair for cultures to have to go to a select religion. Atheists, Hinduists etc. should not be forced to obey Christian religious laws.

wolfpac | Student

See I don't think you are getting were I am coming from. In an article that I have read here recently, it stated that:

     "Prayer in the morning was tradition until up about 200 years when the Surpreme Court ruled that state-mandated class prayers were unconstitutional."

Why would they take out such a tradition that we as Americans had celebrated long before the Constutition was every written? I really don't find it offensive if someone has a different religion and doesn't like the school prayer then they should be allowed to be excused from the classroom. Then they could use that time to do whated ever they needed to do, or pray to the god or goddesses that they do believe in so it is really shouldn't offend that many people here at our school there are very few that are different other than a branch of Christanity.

najm1947 | Student

I go with all the posts pleading the right of students to pray or not to prey in the public schools. This upholds the constitutional rights of individuals in a society of high ethnic diversity.

No one bars any individual from prayers in free time that one can always find in school. And by the way, why only in the school - the concerned ones can pray in the morning when they get up, when leaving home for school, on way to school and/or when they reach the school. If you believe in God, He will listen to you whenever you approach Him - For He is the most Merciful.

amne | Student

Maybe the government reliased something you haven't...

In London only religious schools do prayers other schools don't because of how multicultural the schools are. Maybe their were to many non-christians in your school or something.