Pro’s and Con’s of religion in the public schools is not a cut and dry issue. There are many avenues to this matter. Pro arguments that have been expressed by the people who approve of religion in public school argue that to banish religion takes away the student’s freedom and molds them to be like non-religious students. Socially, the lack of religion in the schools has been seen by the school’s lack of morality. Rising numbers in student/school related problems involving alcoholism, drugs, and pregnancy have become an issue in our schools. According to those favoring school religions, these social issues would benefit by not only addressing personal needs but by nurturing and strengthening principles that are learned from the student’s culture and their parents. Permitting a block of time to designate as prayer time during the day would allow students the opportunity to observe their religious beliefs.
On the other hand, those who support the cons against school religion found the religion infringes on the separation of church and state. The opinion of those who are against school religion feel that schools were not built for intentions of religious practices and observance but for educational purposes. Any form of religion that could be practiced within the school realm would not be able to honor all of the different practicing religions. Formal prayer for instance, is not necessary because students are allowed voluntarily to participate in a legal form of religion called a Moment of Silence. The responsibility of religion belongs to parents and their community while intolerance of religion in the school may ostracize students who abstain from it. Public schools are created for students, government funded, and financially backed by taxpayers thus they should stay impartial on religious issues.
After reviewing all of the pros and cons depending on which viewpoint you take, I found that there was one main common issue that both sides stood firmly on. That issue is the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The main argument expressed by those who approve of religion in the public school has been that the United States Supreme Court has misinterpreted the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. The main issues with those who argue against having a school religion say that school religion and prayers violate the First Amendment Establishment Clause. A school that displays any form of religion or prayer that is simple, plain, general in nature, and totally voluntary does not mean that the government has established a one size fit all religion.