Religion in Public Schools: Discerning the Needed Balance of Religion in Public Schools

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Khrais, Reema
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Lethbridge Undergraduate Research Journal
The recent approach of public educators eliminating any mention of religion in school curricula may prove to be detrimental to the developing education of students. Over the years, United States federal government, as well as many state and local governments, have attempted to interpret the appropriate relationship between religion and public schools. The highly debated issue has been the question of what role, if any, religion should have in America's public schools. Wary of violating any legal constraints, many public schools nowadays have tackled the issue of religion by steering clear of it, or merely neglecting to adequately cover topics concerning it. Debate over the issue of religion in school curricula have fallen under two camps. Some scholars argue that religion should be utterly eliminated in public schools whereas other scholars argue that religion should be a vital component in the school curricula of public schools. In this article, I argue that though endorsement of religion violates the legal principles of the United States, this does not insinuate that religion in school curricula should be excluded altogether. In order to prove such assertion, I will first examine the legal standards of the U.S. under the First amendment as they pertain to religion. I will next analyze the case of Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township (1947) and how it aided in establishing the concrete guidelines and interpretation of the Establishment Clause and how such interpretation disallows the promotion of religion in public schools. In the last portion of my article, I maintain my argument by detailing the necessity of discussing and referencing religion in a well-rounded education and how such was effectively carried out recently by a school district in California. As teachers have more than ever avoided the mention of religion, scholars may find that further research on the integration of religion in school curricula must be implemented in order to assess the adequate balance of religious assimilation needed in school curricula.
Public schools -- Curricula -- United States , Religion in the public schools -- United States