Freedom

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As young children, many are taught to pray, first as small little prayers, and as they grow older more personal prayers. Prayer is an essential part to many religions. While all religions differ in the requirements of the prayer, all have the same core ideal; communicating with the one who made people and dictates how many live their life. Prayer in school should be allowed but not forced upon students. The first amendment to the constitution allows freedom of speech and religion, and constricting these rights would be unconstitutional.

Student rights need to be protected, and the right to pray in schools falls into this category. While this does not mean that the school should have a set prayer said at the beginning of the day, student’s rights to pray during school need to be protected. While prayer should not be forced upon students or teachers at any school that is not a private school, such as a Christian or Catholic school, teachers should also be right to express their beliefs, as long as no personal attacks are involved. There are many who are opposed to prayer in school for various reasons. One argument against prayer in school is that it can make others uncomfortable. While it may make some students feel this way, it should be considered part of tolerance. If students who are completely against homosexuality must be taught tolerance towards homosexuals, and not cause rules to made about having gay-straight-alliances and such, then prayer in schools should also be tolerated.

On February 1, 2011 the Virginia House of Delegates passed an amendment to their state constitution after a boy said a prayer at a public address during a high school football game got a letter from the school telling him that his act was unconstitutional. Student’s rights to pray at school will now be protected in Virginia, and teachers will also be allowed to pray in front of students. An amendment similar to this one should be made to the Constitution of the United States so that students and teachers rights to pray in schools are protected.

Without amendments like these schools will be given more control over the religious freedom of students and teachers alike, and will be exercising rights they don’t have.





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