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Public Prayer in Schools?

By , Lilburn, GA
Praying is a necessity to all religions. Religious people reside all across the world, meaning prayer also takes place across the world. People do it every day, and people do it everywhere. However, would open or public prayer, meaning prayer that would be said aloud, be beneficial or even needed when it is practiced in a public school? Some say that it would be but others disagree. Based on votes and surveys recently conducted by a student, most people, many of whom are students, support the idea of allowing open prayer in schools. I, contrary to popular belief, strongly believe that public prayer should not be allowed in schools, as it could arouse numerous problems.

The disruption of the school atmosphere would be one of the many problems that could be associated with public prayer. Imagine if every day a certain teacher had to pause his or her lesson at a certain time because a student absolutely had to pray. This is just a theoretical example, but could very well happen. This one student could cause lots of controversy. Being a student of no religion, I clearly would find it somewhat offensive since, since it seems to me that this student thinks so highly of his religion that he or she believes it is more important than anything else or anyone else’s religion. This does not mean that it’s wrong to think highly of one’s religion, but it is not okay to act out in this manner and makes it seem that the certain person is ignorant of all other people around them. This daily prayer would also cause the teacher to lose precious instructing time. This not only harms the students academically, but it also hurts the teacher’s reputation. If the teacher does not have enough time to get their lesson in for the day, then their class would begin to fall behind. When certain officials begin to see the progress of that teacher’s students, it would make it seem that the teacher is not doing a good job. The same thing goes for students. If the teacher cannot teach them all of their required content, then they fall behind and inevitably, their grades will follow as well. This harms their futures, which is clearly unfair. This is, however, only a minor problem that could result from open prayer. It would clearly be academically beneficial to all if public prayer were not allowed in school.

Prejudice and separation would eventually rise up and wash across the school like a wave of hate and malcontent. If people of different religions kept on listening to others pray, they would probably feel that those students are disrespecting their religion. This could cause issues between people and friends of different faiths. Students may begin to feel dislike towards each other due to surrounding influence, harming their friendships and relationships with others. As problems worsen, friendships could soon fade away completely, and new ones would be made. People would begin to separate themselves into factions by their religion and faith, much like miniature gangs within the school, and begin forming pacts. Opposition would become prevalent in the school among both students and teachers, mainly based on religion. Students would start disrespecting others and begin to disobey certain teachers. The whole school would eventually wind itself into a time bomb, ticking and waiting to go off.

When that time bomb, fueled by the already widespread discrimination and hate, goes off, violence will explode across the school. The thin line between passive separation and real action will snap, and issues will begin breaking out. It would most likely start with a few insults, perhaps a harsh word here and there, but soon pushing and shoving will work its way into the mess. The insults would soon get much worse, and the physical contact would become extreme, turning into full-scale fights. Students would be causing serious injuries to each other, but they also would be hurting the school. Being the site of all this madness, the school would suffer from the results of these miniature battles between students. Property would be damaged and destroyed, forcing the school to pay for it. This causes loss of funds, which evidently causes a downward spiral in the school’s quality. At this time in the conflict, officials would be coming in to try to stop the issues, which could worsen problems. Students could feel hostile towards the officials as well, since they would be trying to oppose them, making them an enemy to certain people. They could be seriously harmed, or even killed if problems were bad enough; the same goes for the students. The school would eventually die away completely and be resurrected into a furious battlefield. Students would no longer be learning; instead, they would be battling. Everyone would be in danger as long as he or she remained on school grounds, student and teacher alike. If this continued, eventually the school in which this is taking place would have to be shut down. The students would have to be enrolled in other schools and could wreak havoc, that is, if they have not been tried and jailed. All of these horrible possibilities can be prevented with a very simple step, which is restriction of public prayer in a public school.

I realize that most people who practice religion would disagree with my thoughts of this. Those who are very faithful to their religion would most likely argue that prayer should definitely be allowed in school, as prayer plays an important role in all religions. They would argue that people do not have the right to tell them when or where they are allowed to pray, or much less deny them the opportunity. Discouraging public prayer may seem blasphemous to some, but in truth, it is not. This policy would only turn down public, open prayer, but silent and customary prayers, such as Christians’ saying grace, would remain untouched and unchanged. Restricting public prayer is not meant to disrespect religions, but rather to keep schools a safer place, both for students and staff, along with the entire system.

Clearly, allowing open prayer in schools would end in disaster. Some of these things may seem farfetched and insane, but it is very possible, especially with the kind of controversy going on right now in this world. Prejudice has increased, so even something that may seem as minor as praying in school could cause massive problems in the end. Prayer should be kept either silent inside of schools or taken out of them completely. They should be saved for later either at home or worship places. This could help make our communities a safer place as a whole, and also prevent future problems.





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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

contemplaterThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 27, 2011 at 9:10 am

All of your examples are worst case scenarios. 

In the beggining of the article, you mentioned a survey that said the majority of a ceartain shcool is OK with public prayer. These kids are probably religously tolerent. Mabye, most kids today are religously tollerent. 

 
Navi-Talmid-Shel-Seraphim said...
Dec. 29, 2010 at 11:05 pm
Put back school prayer back into schools! We desperately need it! Young kids need to turn back to God.
 
MiaMonster replied...
Jan. 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm
what about the kids that have different view points like Buddhist or Hindu? we would have to please EVERYONE to keep peace. 
 
Navi-Talmid-Shel-Seraphim replied...
Jan. 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm
You are entitled to have an opinion as much as I do. Just because I have a different veiw, dosn't give you a right to bash me. Leave me be!  
 
MiaMonster replied...
Jan. 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm
um okay dude... chill out
 
Sythan said...
Dec. 28, 2010 at 1:51 am
I too agree that School Prayer should be kept out. There is just too much hate.
 
Destiny F. said...
Dec. 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm
I personally think that practicing religion in a public school has its disadvantages and advantages, you can never be quite sure. I'm a religious person and of course I am going to think highly of my religion and of course I think it is true, so my natural state is when someone thinks or believes something diffrent than I do I'm going to try my best to make them turn to my religion. But everyone has diffrent beliefs and sometimes people need to be taught or be exposed to this just in caees ... (more »)
 
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