Public schools have become a breeding ground for a lot of debates over the years, with student demographics becoming more and more diverse. There have been certain things that are being omitted from the school days in these institutions, and among these things are those that had to do with religion, which some parents are strongly upset about and others just do not mind. Now, it would seem that the debate is far from over. To evaluate having religion in public schools, it is best to look at its pros and cons.
List of Pros of Religion in Schools
1. It improves morale.
In recent years, public schools have been dealing with some serious issues, including school violence, teenage pregnancy and drugs, among other things. Now, integrating religion into schools would help improve better morale in students at a younger age, which will effectively reduce problems in the public educational systems.
2. It promotes religious freedom.
The Constitution states that every individual has the right to practice whatever religion he/she would like anytime and anywhere. If religion is banned from schools, it would be unconstitutional to religious students who want to worship during school days, turning religious freedom into freedom from religion.
3. It allows for a well-rounded education.
Schools do not only aim to teach children basic things, but also help them become good adults. Putting religion into schools would help make education well-rounded, so as these children, who will then learn to be well-adjusted to the world around them.
4. It inspires harmony.
By religious practices into the classroom, students would be given the opportunity to learn about different religions, as well as cultures, first hand. This would help the children to be more educated and accepting of the beliefs of other people.
List of Cons of Religion in Schools
1. It distorts the notion that school is for everyone.
Tax payer money is used to finance public schools, so if a child’s parents do not agree with the religion of the majority or are just not religious, then they may highly oppose paying taxes that would fund religious programs and activities in schools.
2. It will cause contradicting education.
There are certain topics about religion taught in schools that might cause conflicts within the classroom. Even uncomplicated subjects, such as history and science, have contradictory lessons that might invoke confusion among students.
3. It would exclude some students.
Students who practice a religion that is different from the majority of the school or are not religious would be excluded from many activities during the school day. This would most likely make such students the target of prejudice and bullying.
4. It distorts the separation of church and state.
Those who oppose religion in schools often bring up the separation of church and state, with laws put in effect in the country to further exemplify the First Amendment, and putting focus on religion in schools is regarded as a direct violation of these laws.
The issue of religion in schools certainly poses many questions, and people’s opinion on this matter is not likely to change anytime soon. Buy by knowing its pros and cons, we can come up with a well-informed decision whether it is beneficial to society or not.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.