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    Speak Up! - View Question #452


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    Question: Can a teacher talk about religion in class even if it makes you uncomfortable? What can a student do in order to make this stop?

    Answer: This question is hard to answer without more information. Is the teacher teaching at a private or public school? Many private schools are religion-based and it is part of the curriculcum. For now, I'll assume it is a public school. Then, is the teacher pushing a particular religion or teaching about religions in general? The Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitutuion (1st Amendment) says 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.' because of this, public schools must be neutral. They can neither prefer one religion over another, nor can they prefer non-religion over religion. As long as this teacher is a public school employee, which accepts state and federal funds, she/he cannot advance or inhibit religion and cannot foster an excessive government entanglement with religion. Most recently, the topic of religion and schools has come up in Arizona because of the tuition tax credits for private/parochial schools. Kotterman v. Killian, 193 Ariz. 273, 972 P.2d 606 (Ariz. 1999). The bottom line is our State Constitution guarantees the freedom of worship and belief. In so doing, it demands absolute neutrality in the treatment of religious groups. (Art.2, Section12)


    Comments
    1 thru 4 of 4 comments    [ 1 ]   
    On 01/20/09
    mike from SC said:
    i beileve that any teacher or stat employ should be able to keep and protect there first adment just as well as any body else that is not a villation of nothing exept stubberness and the evelness in alot of americans soul
    On 07/03/02
    Allanna from CO said:
    Wow, I am so sorry! I too am a Wiccan, and although have had dealings with such people, not as dramatic as that. There was one person who told people she was a Wiccan at school and the teachers wanted to put her in special classes and stuff like that, they didn't but still, it must have been so hard on her. I don't think that there should be religious discrimination like that, espicially at a school where stuff is supposed to be safe and fun.
    On 05/29/02
    Brooke from Othe said:
    I am Wiccan, and as such we have a bad reputation for being evil.. this is NOT the case, anyway, i have a drama lesson witha teacher who is strongly christian, she saw my pentacle and told me it was a sign of the devil, although i protest she now treats me differently and the topic in drama has changed to the persicution of witches!!
    On 02/28/02
    Shannon from NJ said:
    i think that it should not happen. for example right now in my english class, we are learning about creation myths and we are talking about passages from the bible. one of the kids in my class chose not to do the assignment because it dealt with the bible which was partially against his religion. he ended up having to do the hw but got peanalized for it. then my other friend had an essay to do that dealt with a quote that she didnt believe in and it had to do with God. she didnt want to do it because she didnt believe it because it said something about when God is dead and things like that. i
    1 thru 4 of 4 comments    [ 1 ]   



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