Should Religious Education be taught in school?
A debate that has been going back and forth is building up, and that is about at what extent should religion be taught about in school, does it need to be taught more, or should it not even be talked about at all? Some that teachers are promoting religions to children, trying to convert them or convince them against their tenets and principals, and are taking it to the courtroom. Others argue that it is absolutely necessary that people have the right to learn about other beliefs and values to be able to comprehend diversity. Briefly, in education students should not be forced to choose a religion.
Starting with one point of view, there are many reasons why religion needs to be talked about in the school building. One main reason is that with knowledge, comes understanding. In an article from FaithStreet, readers are told that by evidence from surveys, Americans are “ignorant” when it comes to religion and know barely anything about other practices. This leads to stereotyping and misunderstanding about what people believe in, which is a major problem that can be avoided by learning. To continue, studies show that teasing and bullying people about their religion starts at young ages around kindergarten, which is not acceptable at all. For these reasons, it is said to be essential for students to learn about as many religions as possible.
Furthermore, experts from Education Week remind us that it is 2016, and our student body is more diverse than ever before. Since people aren’t grasping the beauty of that reality, religion is at the root of hate crimes. As a result of this, it is that classes have the opportunity to talk about and to understand different cultures and beliefs. With basic knowledge, they will have a better idea of religion’s impact on “history, politics, society, and culture,” tells Anthony Jackson on Education Week.
On the other hand, there are many dangers of putting a sensitive topic such as religion in the schools’ hands. In a story from the Washington post, a Jewish woman by the name of Linda K. Wertheimer tells about her negative experience, which took place when she was in the fourth grade. She makes public that one day, the school hired a woman to tell the class about how Jesus could solve their problems, and that Jesus loves them. After their parents spoke up, Wertheimer and her brother were “banished by our classroom teachers,” (Washington Post). This was an inadmissible experience because it promoted something that only the Christian parents want their children to be exposed to.
To elaborate, many people of all religions agree that it should be up to the students parents what is taught to their children at school, and what is not. An anonymous opinion was posted that stated, “It shouldn’t be a requirement for having religion in school. It should be a choice for religion to be a requirement. The students should a choice. Also their parents should also have a choice” (Debate). Various others say no to these lessons because they do not want their children spending their limited math, reading and studying time discussing a topic irrevelant to the school environment.
In conclusion, there are positive and negative outcomes from teaching about different religion in schools. There are facts that state that the outcome can improve society, knowledge and character. However, others argue that the outcome can have the opposite effect, leaving students and parents hurt, angry, or violated. Ask yourself the question, should religion be talked and taught about in school?