religion in public schools - FamilyEducation
religion in public schools
09/29/2007 at 22:11 PM

How do you feel about religion in public schools?  Should there be prayer?  Should the ten commandments be posted?  If so, what about other religion's "rules", should they be posted as well?  Or, should your children go to a private christian (or other religious) school if you want them to learn it?  What if you don't have the money to send them...should they be "deprived" of religious exposure?  I am torn on this issue and really don't know which way I feel.  I am doing a college project and have to do a debate.  Any opinion would be greatly appreciated.

Hey ashley,


Welcome to the boards.  Way to pick a really hot topic!  My daughter goes to public school and my husband teaches at a religious school, so I see both sides.  I feel that it is important to not post any specific religion's rules or commandments in a public school---there can be people of many different faiths in a public school and it is a place where there shouldn't really be any perception that one religion is the only one that matters and I don't think that it is possible to cover every religion.  I don't feel that if you send your child to a public school you are depriving them of a religious education, they have the church and their parents to teach that to them.  If one can't afford to send their child to a religious school but would like their child to have that sort of education, there are lots of scholarship opportunties in those private schools.  I think should be an individual choice as to the education you want your child to receive but public school is not the place for one religion to be promoted.


What does everyone else think?




In Britain, all schools have religious education but are taught about all religions eg Christianity, Muslim, Hindu etc. so they children can make up their own minds what they believe or not. I personally think religion is best left for the parents to teach though if they believe in the tales. 


Hey Marti,         Why not make public schools the void of any beliefs, it already is the void of any real education already. My child attends a catholic school and with the help of some seriously underpaid and dedicated teachers and lets not forget that aweful power of faith in God he is thriving. I dont believe you seriously think there are scholarships! what a joke. I do realize it is our decision to send our child to Catholic school what I do not comprehend is why we have to support thru our tax dollars the FAILURE that is the public school.  Do public school parents help support the catholic schools in their area? I THINK NOT!!                                                    


Religion should only be included in religion-based schools, and not in public schools.   People tend to forget that christianity isn't the only belief-system out there, and some beliefs differ radically.  Religious beliefs and teachings are very personal, and have no place in a mixed environment like a public school.

Just imagine how you would feel as a christian if your public school included religious teaching and prayers, with symbols prominently displayed, and the religion the school embraced was scientology (chosen simply because it does not have anything in common with christianity)?


hey lilmonte,


As a matter of fact my husband is one of those seriously underpaid and dedicated Catholic school teachers.  And there are scholarships that are given to many children every year.  In addition, Catholic children receive a discount at the school. 


As far as the tax argument goes there are lots of things that people have to pay taxes to that they may not use or don't agree with---the war being one, schools being another, medicare, etc.  As a society, we elect people to represent us and they get to decide where our taxes go.


And there are many people who do not have children in school at all who support both public schools and other private schools.  I am a public school parent and I support our Catholic schools around here.  I give to their giving campaign every year and I just donated about $6000.00 worth of books to a Catholic school here. 


I don't agree that public school is devoid of any real education, my daughter goes to one of the best schools in our state and it is a public school.  She has many opportunities and many great teachers.  I am okay with her not being taught their religious beliefs because we are teaching her values and giving her the spiritual guidance she needs here at home.  I think it is great if you want your child to have religion in school but I don't think it belongs in public school.




Hello Ashley

     I am a christian and I just wanted to say that I think it was a bad mistake for the government to take God out of schools. When they started doing that things started getting real bad like kids killing other kids and bringing guns and other weapons to school. I don't care what the religion is I think it should be offered in all schools. Not everybody can afford or have a catholic or christian  school around them. They offer  spanish classes and other languages in our schools why not religion!


Dear Ashley,

I think that the goverment made a huge mistake when they took prayer out of school. The last time I checked the United States is one nation under God. I do believe that people with other religious preferences should be able to practice there religion here also if they should choose to do so.That's their decision.I saw on the news how a coach had told a muslim girl that she had to take her scarf off of her head in order to play soccer.That was an Horrible act on his part. You also have many other different religious people who have certain rights to be excused from school thoughout the year and there are no complaits. So why is it that when children want to just pray it's a problem. Do we not Pledge to the Flag that we honor? I do agree that there should be specific limitations on any religion in school. Why is it that Christ is being taken slowly out of eveything ?  For ex. X-mas, Happy Hollidays. Do we take out anything from other religions as well. We all should have certain rights in school.


I wouldn't normally do this but reading the posts I felt the need to. People have their own thoughts on things, I understand this, but I have a big problem with the statement that public schools are pretty much void of any educational vaule. I'm a sophmore in high school in one of the best schools in my area. Guess what, Its a public school. I have learned more there than at any other school i've ever been to. Yeah there isn't much religious disscusion, but we have religious clubs that people can join and things like that. So please don't bad mouth something you understand, its just not worth it.


I've read the responses and most seem reasonable, but there are some that are promoting stereotypical nonsense due to their own bias.  Here's what they are:

1.  All public schools are poor educators.  MYTH.  Public school quality varies by region, state, county and even each school.  Some are very good, some are very bad, many are average.

2.  Limiting religious teaching in schools has contributed to declining American values/morals.  MYTH.  Studies do not support this myth.  There are many contributors to America's social problems, and most are economic, not religious.  In fact, most law breakers are believers in some kind of god.  They have bad social skills, but do not lack in religious training.  Also, many countries that are far less religious get along quite nicely, with less violence and moral decline than America.

3.  The presumption that America is a "Christian" nation.  MYTH.  America is a nation of free religious practice.  No religion enjoys a place of official validity.  Every person is free to choose their religion, or no religion at all.  The only practical and fair way to support this doctrine is to refrain from indoctrinating children into any particular religion in school.

4.  God is banished from school.  MYTH.  Religion is still practiced and even taught in school in many ways.  No single religion can be promoted above others and no teacher may prosletyze to children, nor are they allowed to denigrate any religion they do not agree with.  Teachers sometimes break these rules, and it is the responsibility of the principal and/or the school board to properly dicipline teachers who do this.

5.  Finally, any person who thinks that they really want religion to be taught in public school should think again.  Whatever religion you practice, whatever traditions and rules you abide by, there is the likelyhood that your children's teachers practice a different set of rules.  Would you like a teacher teaching your child something that contrdicts your own religious beliefs?  There is simply no pracical way to teach each and every set of beliefs to all children.  Christianity alone has hundres of sects, each with its own special set of rules and traditions.

Please be considerate of people who do not believe in invisible father figures.  We don't fill your child's head full of fantasies.  Please don't fill our child's head with them either.





Coming from a public school, Ive seen many people of different religions. No we did not say the pledge at all, but i see why. my school did not want to offend people because of their religions. I've seen Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Jehovah Witnesses, and even athiest in my school, so saying a prayer based on one belief wouldn't be morally right. I don't see a problem in learning about a religion, just practicing them in public schools. Right now, i am attendiing a Catholic High School and even though i am a christian, they still respect that fact, so in public schools, they should respect peoples beliefs.
And also, i highly disagree with lil monte who says that public schools are a failure, sure enough that they have problems in the schools but what school is absolutely perfect?? fom being at that school I have received 2 scholarships and even accepted into a school for the arts. and taxes would help just to better the schools into what it could be. Just because public schools are doesnt mean Catholic schools are. i have seen a lot of the same problems here that was ta my old school. Just that here. there is more money to pay and a worse uniform!!!!!

Hi, my name is Diane: I think Christianity should be taught in public schools. There is a difference between Christianity and Religion. For one religion is what had Jesus killed, the Jews had made over 400 laws that they could not keep. Jesus came to save that which was lost, and to fullfil the Bible. There is only one that can save us and that is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost all three in one. The Bible says taste and see that the Lord is good, I promise you that if you come in contact with this Jesus and let him into your heart I promise you will never be the same. I did it and I will never turn back, because I taste of his goodness and there is none like him. Because God word does not lie. He said that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Oh come join me and let us bless his Holy Name...Jesus Is Lord...All to the Glory and Honor of my Father. Thank You Yaweh. The one and only true living God. P.S. and yes I think prayer and the ten commandments should be read out loud. Some people should recite the Lord's Prayer and definetly say the Ten Commandments...especially Thou Shalt Not Steal and Thou Shalt Kill and definetly Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witnesses...and must I go on. Love everyone with the Love of Christ. Because with out his love I could not love any of you.

Hello, I am new to this website. I came here to ask for another learning situation for my little one of 10. But this issue caught my eye because I live in Italy and everyday, I live with this issue. My child's father is a "sort of a Catholic" BUT she's snickers how they teach it in the church or school. BUT she really enjoys studying about it to learn more about "religion" from her same age Jehovah Witness friend. I've looked over the book and there's everything about the Bible through it's teachings. But I'm open minded to all the various Religions and how they are so helpful, polite and non-political, it's the best for her, she'll soon talk more to her Dad to look into reading it to learn more with her too. Choices are up to us, it's also written in the Bible, and you can find in several different places throughout ALL of the numerous books written, thus again, you're reading what I wrote, it's your choice to cancel or reflect more on what I took time to write to you. Thank you for this opportunity to share this with you.

Ashley- Re-read ddaniels' post. It is a perfect example of why religion should not be taught in schools. I am sure she meant no harm, but it is somewhat offensive. Better to leave the dogma to the parents and the churches/synagogues etc. There is a basic morality that underpins many of these religions and I think IS taught in public schools to some extent... like- it is wrong to steal, be nice to other people, do your best etc.

Hey daniel, if that is what you want to believe then go ahead. Just don't push your religious crap down other peoples throats. We are all entitled to our views of the reality or not of 'god'And by the way, you sound like a bigot with a definite hatred of Jews.