A couple of centuries ago, religious beliefs were not a question to start debates around—a person was either a believer, or others would squint at them. Nowadays, it has become possible to profess any beliefs, including atheism, Scientology, or Rastafarianism. Still, since the U.S. remains a rather conservative and religious country, from time to time different communities concerned about morality and the ethical education of children raise the question of whether there should be a time for silent prayer in public schools. Although many opponents tend to see it as an offence and an act of imposing religion, there are rational reasons why there should be such a time in public schools.
The approach in which it is done can be different. If a teacher says, “Alright, now you have five minutes to say your prayers to God, and then we start the class,” then it can be seen as imposing religious beliefs; some children might not believe in God, some might believe in many gods, so such a phrase could be fairly called intrusive. However, this “prayer time” can be introduced in a different way. A teacher might say, “Alright, children, now you have five free minutes. You can say your prayers, or meditate, or simply think about something good, and then we begin class. But no talking!” In this case, there is no inculcation, since children have a number of alternatives of what to do in the allotted time (FRU).
In connection with this, it is important to mention why this “prayer time” (or meditation time, or positive thinking time—call it as you will) is valuable. Any prayer is a set of positive affirmations and images; the same refers to meditation or imagining something pleasant. Researchers have long ago proved the fact that positive thinking has invigorating effects on the human body; in particular, positive thinkers enjoy an increased life span, lower rates of stress, a better psychological condition, physical well-being, better coping skills, and so on (Mayo Clinic). Considering this, it is unclear how it would harm children’s’ mental condition or cognitive capabilities if they had regular short sessions of positive thinking—in any of its forms.
Moreover, modern public schools in the U.S. provide education to children belonging to numerous religious confessions, ideological systems, and with different cultural backgrounds. The discussed time before classes would be a chance to show children what tolerance is in practice; children would learn how to respect the views of people surrounding them. This would also help to make children in classes more closely-knit, respecting, and friendly to each other (IFR).
Although there are numerous opponents of so called “prayer time” in public schools, in fact there is nothing bad about it. When introduced properly, and children have alternatives to what to do during this time (for example, meditate or think about something pleasant), such sessions can positively affect them. Children would learn to respect beliefs other than theirs, and would learn what tolerance is in practice. Besides, they would enjoy all the benefits of positive thinking, such as an increased life span, a better psychological and physical condition, better coping skills, and so on.
Friedkin, Sam. “Surviving in Pluralistic Environment: How to Not Offend Anyone.” FRU. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.
“Positive Thinking: Reduce Stress by Eliminating Negative Self-talk.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.
“Teaching Tolerance on Practice.” IFR. N.p., 12 July 2012. Web. 26 May 2015.
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Writing a Persuasive Essay
No, it wastes time.
I say it should not, because if it was then it would take away school time and then they will get bad grades. Also they would get teased, mocked, bullied, punched, and threatened, so I say no, it should not be allowed. If it was then just think of all the different religions in the world.
It should not be allowed.
No, prayer should not be allowed in school. Schools are a place where there are children of many different cultures and religions and it is not fair to have the children forced into one religion with allowing prayer in school. School is meant to be an unbiased place and allowing prayer takes that away.
No, I disagree because there should be freedom of religion.
Why should prayer be brought into school when not everyone has the same beliefs. We have the choice to pray on our own but kids shouldn't be forced to pray in schools. If you want to be more involved with prayer in school then you shouldn't be going to a public school.
I don't like it
I am a high school student and i have had to deal with silent prayer time ever since I was in Kindergarten, that "moment of silence" was always super awkward for not only me, but other students as well. You just stand there and don't know what to do if you aren't religious..
There is no reason to pray in school.
If people pray in schools it would indeed waste time. So there is no reason to pray. The only time you should pray is in church if you have a religion. If you don't have a religion, then don't bother praying it's going to do you no good. People shouldn't be steered around and have their mind messed up by religion. People should be allowed to live their own way without the peer pressure of religion.
First amendment has given us the right to religion.
Since the first amendment has given us religious freedom that simply proposes we can practice whatever religion we want in our freedom full country of AMERICA! Pulling what has been set to be at home should not be forcefully changed by a teachers or administrators decision. School is a place where our kids LEARN and become better people for our countries future, so religion freely practiced elsewhere is a much better alternative than taking time from school on the desks. The bottom line is schools and religion should be separated
It would influence individual's religion and could cause fighting.
It is unfair for people who don't believe to have to be taught about it and to be lectured or to forced to do anything religious in school. It is also unfair for people who do believe to have to sit and listen about other religions because it could start to persuade them when they really don't want to be persuaded. Parents might also want their children to be taught only specific things about religion.
Children in school are vulnerable.
If religion were allowed to be practiced in schools, it could leave many children vulnerable to bullies and hatred. It should be frowned upon to see people hated for religion these days, but hey, what can you do, this is what society is coming to. It is a complete shame.
it shoudn't be allowed peroid.
i believe that prayer should not be publicly endorsed by schools whether the school is public or private. this should not happen because if a student with a non-mainstream way of praying could be singled out for bullying and this can causes the school enviroment to go from one of learning to a place that can become a negitive enviroment for the students.
There are such things as Religious schools ...
If prayer is so important then take your child to a RELIGIOUS based school. If you go to PUBLIC school then you need to abide by the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE laws. While I have no problem with children praying before lunch or for a good grade on a test I do not believe there is a legitimate reason to allow it (aside from the two reasons I stated). If you allow prayer in school does that mean you allow Islam, Judaism, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Pagan, Rastafarian, Taoism and etc? If you cannot afford to send your child to a religious based school then suck it up and tell your child to pray at home or in school.