In the year 2016, I would have thought it’s more reasonable to follow science; real, tangible, evidence based facts. Alas, try as some of us might to move religion out of government schools, they just won’t let go. Instead, it’s the voices of those crying about “tradition” that win every time.
I wrote some time ago about the prayer that my daughter’s public school has, which the children recite every week at assembly, and which many parents object to on the basis that they simply don’t believe in God, any god, and don’t want their children indoctrinated into any kind of religion. In my opinion, the fact that it’s a public school just makes it all the more inappropriate.
After much debate and campaigning, and the children coming up with a wonderful school pledge to recite instead, the “changes” to the school prayer were introduced. I put the word “changes” in quotation marks because in my view, it really isn’t a change at all. All we’re seeing is a change from asking for guidance from God, to asking for spiritual guidance. The idea being that it is inclusive of all faiths.
Do you agree or disagree with Kelly James about religion in public schools? Tell us in the comments below.
However, it isn’t inclusive of those without faith. It isn’t inclusive of those who don’t believe that a spiritual force is going to guide their children to work hard and be kind. I’d like actual flesh and blood humans to be the ones my children turn to for guidance if they’re struggling, or if they’re being bullied. And I can tell you, the bullying is a huge issue.
Kids, on bullying. Post continues after video.
I believe we need to replace prayers and religion classes with personal accountability (so that no, you can’t blame God), Chaplains with qualified psychologists, and religion classes with Safe Schools. It may prevent the kind of bullying that leads to tragedies.
If another parent wants their children to have religion included in their schooling, they are more than welcome to choose from a plethora of schools which will cater to their religious needs. But the parents who don’t wish for this kind of indoctrination don’t have the luxury of choice. There are no secular independent schools, and we can’t escape it in our public schools.
There are Catholic schools, Christian schools, Jewish schools, and Islamic schools... We don't need to bring this into government-run schools.
You can read more from Kelly James on her blog here. This post was republished with permission.