CON: The Pious Bias

Should classes be allowed to include religious topics as a part of the curriculum in schools?

Michelle Ki, Asst. Feature Editor

Public schools speak for themselves in the sense that they are public. The word “public” is highly disguised in today’s society as an open place— a place where anyone can participate in. However, public schools should in no way have the authority to decide religious matters for the actual public itself.

Public schools should not be a place where students are taught, who or what they should believe in, or whether or not they should believe in anything at all. Children are not to be proselytized by other students, teachers, or any other school official. Any form of religion taught inside school may indoctrinate children into feeling that they must believe in a certain religion or belief.

Religion in school violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which says that the government shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, thus also violating “the separation of church and state.” In general, all the students in an entire school are not entitled to religion, so therefore it would be essentially impossible for any religious curriculum to be created that would satisfy everyone. Public schools should be free of religion and respect the term, “the separation of church and state.”

If Christianity, for example, were to be particularly emphasized in a certain public school, atheists and every other student that believed in a different religion, would have a problem with it. If the topic of religion in schools stirs so much controversy, why must it still be an ongoing debate? Why must children be pressured and obligated to learn about different religions for the sake of those who believe in a distinguished religion? If the child’s parents believe that religion is an essential aspect toward the educational values of the child, there are options, such as a religious school.

For the many children who don’t have an option at all, it is genuinely unfair. There is no difference in saying,
for example, a group of students having the option to go to a religion-based school but choose not to, while the remaining students don’t have an option to attend a different school. The term ‘public’ comprehends that the school imposes to be an unbiased and analytical environment.

In no way am I stating that students should not be able to practice their religious needs at school. They should be able to, just on their own time. Besides, isn’t religion supposed to be an intimate subject? There is a time and place for everything but religious matters is just not acceptable nor is it fair to those who are religiously involved. With that being, religion in any school curriculum should be not allowed for it will cause controversy and unhappiness among students in any circumstances.