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Pros and Cons of Prayer in School: Educators Weigh In

Image: Pros and Cons of Prayer in School: Educators Weigh In
Child praying in school, illustration. (Maria Dryfhout/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Sunday, 16 Nov 2014 03:16 PM

The issue of prayer in public schools continues to be a hotly contested debate, leaving educators to carefully examine the laws and weigh the pros and cons of allowing prayer in school.

According to Gallup’s recent Work and Education survey released Sept. 25, 61 percent of Americans support allowing daily prayer to be spoken in classrooms, down from 66 percent in 2001 and 70 percent in 1999.

ALERT: Should Prayer Be Allowed in Public Schools? Vote Now

Proponents of prayer in school say prayer could instill morality and help combat societal issues such as school shootings, increasing drug use, alcoholism, teen pregnancy, and sexual disease transmission.

Those who oppose prayer in school maintain that prayer in school can draw attention to religious differences and cause those who choose not to participate in prayer to feel ostracized.

The Teachers Who Pray website includes legal guidance for educators as well as testimony about prayer.

“I have seen prayer’s ability to transform communities. If we pray, we will see a reduction in violence, and we will see families and communities restored,” a social worker in Chicago identified as Debra C. said, according to the site.

A former kindergarten teacher identified as Alicia L. said: “Too many teachers are emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. Prayer for teachers, as well as students, will make a huge difference in the whole school.”

VOTE NOW: Do You Support Prayer in Public Schools?

Education.com says there are benefits to both schools without prayer and those with prayer.

Current laws regarding prayer in school encourage kids to take initiative.

“Prayer hasn't been banned from school; teachers just can't initiate it,” the site said. Students can pray on their own or start a school prayer club that doesn’t infringe on other students’ rights.

Some National Education Association members worry about an erosion of the separation of church and state by allowing prayer at graduations.

"We have Muslim kids who want to pray five times a day in our school. We have Christian kids, Jewish kids, Asian kids. If we have a student-led prayer at a graduation, whose prayer is it going to be?" David O'Connell, an educator at the Beverly Hills Middle School in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, told The Associated Press.

O'Connell identifies as a Christian. “I pray in school on my own time, when I need it. I just don't push it on other people,” he said.

URGENT: Should Students Be Allowed to Pray in Public Schools? Vote Here Now!

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The issue of prayer in public schools continues to be a hotly contested debate, leaving educators to carefully examine the laws and weigh the pros and cons of allowing prayer in school.
pros and cons, prayer in school, educators
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2014-16-16
Sunday, 16 Nov 2014 03:16 PM
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