Is public prayer in schools necessary? Would established prayer change the behavior of the students more than just the moment of silence? Would it lower the teen pregnancy, HIV, and violence rates; or would it increase the already trying barriers between children today? Is it constitutional? Wound it cause more problems than it would fix (“Pros and Cons of Prayer in School”)?
The bill about prayer in public schools, (H. 3526), would require teachers to lead a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day, during which he/she would be allowed to deliver a prayer. Students who didn’t want to participate would be allowed to leave the classroom (Prayer in Public Schools Pushed by Southern Democrats).
Different people believe and interpret things differently. Some people believe that the First Amendment’s “freedom of religion” gives way for public prayer in schools; while others believe the polar opposite. This subject is very controversial. Religion, location, and party affiliation are some dynamic factors in determining how a person forms their stance on public prayer in schools.
Rhonda Reedy, an independent party member from Ohio, disagrees with prayer in public schools. She attended church growing up and still does today. She is a Christian, yet disagrees with this type of prayer. Like many other people, she feels that asking the children that don’t want to pray to leave is isolating them. She feels that this could prove detrimental to the child over time (Reedy).
Marc Goodson is a forty four year old school teacher in Virginia, and a sponsor of the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). The FCA is a club that meets in the morning before school in which the students pray with each other and study the bible together. This is allowed today because it is before school hours, and is led by students. When speaking with him, he said that he believed that prayer should be brought back into schools because the country was founded on Christianity and it should continue to be that way. He feels that the teacher should be able to pray, and that it is acceptable for the students to leave if they do not wish to participate. His proclaimed usual party affiliation is Republican, (Goodson).
Debbie Reedy from Southwestern Virginia says that she would most likely put herself on the Republican side of the fence; although, she tries to vote for the candidate which she finds has the most biblical beliefs. She was in school when students had bible study as a class forty years ago, and students could leave if they didn’t want to participate. Reedy said that now it would probably cause more problems than it did then, because society is more diverse today. She voiced her opinion in saying; “I didn’t agree with it then, and I don’t now.” She believes that this type of organized prayer makes way for more bullying opportunities (Reedy).
Sandra Beasley from Texas is a mother of two children who have attended a private Christian school their entire lives. She is...