Voluntary Prayer In Public Schools Essay

2611 words - 10 pages

VOLUNTARY PRAYER IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS Religion plays a big role in today's society. For the most part people, including the government, accept that there is a Being - we'll call him God - who, as a nation, we live under. Voluntary prayer in public schools is and will remain a situation that can not be settled. Many people are for it, however, there is still that group of people who are against it. Unfortunately public schools cannot do anything about the situation for risk of a lawsuit placed against them. There are so many controversial views about voluntary prayer in public schools. No matter what, either for or against it, things are always being taken out of context, making it virtually impossible to come up with a decision. There are many reasons for prayer in public schools, Since the absence of prayer in public schools, the performance rates of students has declined along side their morals. Also, all students, no matter race, religion, or background, have the same rights to meet, before, during, and after school with their various organizations. The most important reason for prayer in public schools is that the First Amendment of the Constitution allows it. Many people would think that this is the first time that prayer has been banned from public schools, but it is not. In 1962 the Supreme Court made the same ruling by banning school prayer after the case of Engel vs. Vitale. In past studies, the statistics show that banning school prayer leads to increased crime, premarital sex, illiteracy, suicide, drug use, public corruption and other social ills ("School", 2). There has been a radical decline in the four areas which children's prayer touched upon: youth, family, education and national life (Bergel, 1). The rate of violent crimes committed has risen over 330% ("Religion", 2). Research done on test scores using the SAT's (Scholastic Aptitude Test) shows that the actual knowledge of the students began to decline after 1962 and since 1981 the scores have increased. The research also shows that students from private Christian schools showed higher academic achievement and higher test scores than public school students ("What",1). America's moral decline rapidly accelerated following one event - the US Supreme Court's removal of prayer from our nation's schools (Bergel, 1). Since the banning of prayers in schools there has been a steady moral decline. Teen pregnancy, drug use, divorce rates and violent crimes have all increased. People are convinced that "religious influence in the schools is necessary to teach students morals and values" ("School",2). Teaching morality became a big effort in the early 20th century caused by fears of new immigrants. By mid-century almost every public school in the country was teaching moral values (Bates, 2). Prayer, to some, promotes peace and abstinence in almost every organized religion, it " is absolutely vital to maintain moral health in our society." Prayer gives students something to think...

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