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Is God Is Not smart enough for school?
Transcript of Is God Is Not smart enough for school?
Investigating the faith inside the education system
Information and analysis
Religion in the curriculum
Investigations and analysis
When it started
In the Engel v. Vitale case (1962), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-1 against New York's "Regents' prayer," a "non-denominational" prayer which state education officials had composed for public schoolchildren to recite.
The government-sponsored religious devotion was challenged in court by a group of parents from New Hyde Park (some atheists, some believers). O'Hair was not involved in the case at all.
One year later, a case originated by a Philadelphia-area man named Ed Schempp challenging mandatory Bible reading in Pennsylvania schools reached the Supreme Court. At the same time, Murray O'Hair was challenging a similar practice as well as the recitation of the Lord's Prayer in Maryland public schools. The Supreme Court consolidated the cases and in 1963 ruled 8-1 that devotional Bible reading or other government-sponsored religious activities in public schools are unconstitutional.
Prayer and the Bible Removed from Public Schools
Sep 21, 1789
First Amendment Drafted
Led by James Madison, the United States Congress agrees to the precise language of the religion clauses of the First Amendment.
School lets students end class early in order to attend religion classes, is permissible because the religious instruction takes place off school grounds.
States want God out and more liberalism
What distinguishes "teaching religion" from "teaching about religion"?
I think this is about feelings!
What are some concerns that arise regarding "teaching about religion" in public schools?
Religion may be presented as part of a secular educational program. Programs that "teach about religion" are geared toward teaching students about the role of religion in the historical, cultural, literary and social development of the United States and other nations. These programs should instill understanding, tolerance and respect for a pluralistic society. When discussing religion in this context, religion must be discussed in a neutral, objective, balanced and factual manner. Such programs should educate students about the principle of religious liberty as one of the fundamental elements of freedom and democracy in the United States.
"Teaching religion" amounts to religious indoctrination and practice and is clearly prohibited in public schools. A public school curriculum may not be devotional or doctrinal. Nor may it have the effect of promoting or inhibiting religion. A teacher must not promote or denigrate any particular religion, religion in general, or lack of religious belief. A teacher must not interject personal views or advocate those of certain students. Teachers must be extremely sensitive to respect, and not interfere with, a student's religious beliefs and practices. Students must not be encouraged to accept or conform to specific religious beliefs or practices.
A program intended to teach religion, disguised as teaching about religion, will be found unconstitutional.
Students are extremely susceptible to peer and public pressure and coercion. This concern is heightened, of course, at the elementary school level. Any discussion of religion in the classroom should be sensitive to the beliefs of the different students in the class. No student should be made to feel that his or her personal beliefs or practices are being questioned, infringed upon or compromised. A student should never feel ostracized on the basis of his or her religious beliefs.
U.S. Supreme Court Decisions
1879 Reynolds v. United States
Court finds the federal antibigamy statute does not violate First Amendments's gurantee of the free exercise of religion.
Emerson vs. Board of Education
1948 Everson vs. Board of Education
Court finds New Jersey law which included students of Catholic schools in reimbursements to parents who sent their children to school on buses operated by public transportation system does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment
Jun 25, 1962
Engel v. Vitale
McCollum v. Board of Education Dist. 71
In an earlier case, McCollum v. Board of Education, the Court had ruled an Illinois released time program unconstitutional because the religious instruction occurred on public school grounds.
1989 Allegheny v. ACLU
Court finds that a nativity scene displayed inside government building violates the Establishment Clause.
CLICK LINK FOR MORE INFO
Lets go DEEPER
Atheist Spring up in Schools
Is the scale is off
Students in public schools are free to:
Take bibles to school or other religious texts with them on the school bus.
Pray alone or in groups at the flagpole or elsewhere on school grounds.
Pray in classrooms outside of regular teaching hours.
Say grace and or pray in school cafeteria.
Form Bible study club or any other religious club
Students can wear shirts with religious text, jewelery and symbols.
Students can hand out religious materials.
What can students DO?
The Impact of the Separation of Church and State on Education
The United States of America was founded on the basis of religious freedom. Its school systems were centered on religious education. Theology was weaved into every song, every thought, and every act of Americans. The idea and belief of God was everywhere. When the Separation of Church and State was put into place as a result of the First Amendment of the Constitution in 1791, the correlation between God and the good of humanity was suddenly obliterated. [LH1]
The public education system felt the greatest impact from this change. God was slowly taken out of the classroom, sporting events, and graduation ceremonies. Yet over two hundred years after the law was established, there is still conflict and confusion about what the First Amendment implies. The entities of Church and State have not been fully separated and this has affected those in the teaching profession through curriculum, scheduling, and teacher-student relationships.
Religion: The Foundation of Education
The public education system in America was established so that children could obtain an education to not only learn reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also religion. Students learned how to read by reading the Bible as well as memorize various selections from it. The Massachusetts Act of 1647 [LH2] was set into place to rule that the public schools were to teach Scripture-literate young men and women (Kauchak, 2005). Religion was the foundation where children would learn right from wrong and how to be good citizens.
The controversy over religion may have risen throughout the years in the primary schools, but that did not hinder the establishment of colleges that centralized on religion. All current Ivy League schools were once created as seminaries. Colleges like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton only trained students who were going to be missionaries or pastors. The main focus of these schools was teaching religion and training others to do the same.
Religion and Curriculum
American History classes are affected by religion because America was founded on Christian principles. World History classes are affected by countless religious principles. The most common example is the Holocaust in World War II. An entire religious group was martyred and tortured which erupted with the entire world involved in war. These important parts of history cannot simply be erased or eliminated from curriculum. Leaving out the important religious components would not be explaining the whole truth and their significance would be lost.
The most controversial religious issue within the school system takes place in the science classroom where there is a constant battle between evolution and creation or intelligent design. The infamous case that set this discussion into place was The State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes 1920. Scopes[LH3] was arrested for teaching evolution in his classroom based on readings from The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (Scopes Trial, 2007). He lost this case but the issue in the science classroom would never be the sa
1925 - The Scopes Case[LH4]
When biology teacher John T. Scopes was charged with violating a Tennessee ban on the teaching of evolution, the ACLU was there and secured celebrated attorney Clarence Darrow for his defense.
In the years following World War I, America was gripped by the fear that the Communist Revolution that had taken place in Russia would spread to the United States. As is often the case when fear outweighs rational debate, civil liberties paid the price. In November 1919 and January 1920, in what notoriously became known as the “Palmer Raids,” Attorney General Mitchell Palmer began rounding up and deporting so-called radicals. Thousands of people were arrested without warrants and without regard to constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure. Those arrested were brutally treated and held in horrible conditions.
In the face of these egregious civil liberties abuses, a small group of people decided to take a stand, and thus was born the American Civil Liberties Union.
One of the ACLU’s earliest battles was the Scopes Trial of 1925. When the state of Tennessee passed a law banning the teaching of evolution, the ACLU recruited biology teacher John T. Scopes to challenge the law by teaching the banned subject in his class. When Scopes was eventually prosecuted, the ACLU partnered with celebrated attorney Clarence Darrow to defend him. Although Scopes was found guilty (the verdict was later overturned because of a sentencing error), the trial made national headlines and helped persuade the public on the importance of academic freedom.
Atheist Clubs Spring up in high Schools
Atheist Spring up in Schools
Atheist Spring up in Schools
Against the law
Violation of rights
Better Foundational Principles
Country formed on Judea-Christian Beliefs