public schools + religion = not during school hours
// April 25th, 2008 // school
Two of my children came home from school this week waving color flyers for a Baptist celebrity’s revival. I glanced at the papers and put them aside. The event has been heavily advertised on television, on billboards and at churches. I don’t care what kind of flyers are distributed through the schools. Okay, I would not like to see anything that it is illegal for students to do advertised to students. Otherwise, I am fine with the karate classes, sports teams, vacation bible school and big church event flyers that are sent home each week. When my children told me that they were taken out of classes to watch a skateboarder and a stunt biker while hearing about the great event they should attend to win prizes, I was NOT amused. I sat on it for a day as my husband always requests when I get myself worked up about something and I am still unhappy.
I don’t care what religious or secular events occur in the school building before or after school hours. There should be ZERO religious or advertising events during school hours. No matter what their personal beliefs are, I truly believe that school administrators are capable of understanding when they are crossing the line. They CHOSE to cross the line this time. This was marketing for a specific religious event and nothing more. Schools are locked and monitored buildings. Parents can’t just show up and hang out in the classroom. Anything or anyone that is a distraction is not allowed in the building. Teachers complain endlessly about the lack of time they have to teach because of standardized testing. If we have so much free time that we can subject our children to infomercials, why don’t we spend that time on something that pertains to education? The children need a well deserved break from academics? The school has its’ own music, art and athletic programs. Showcase those.
This program will be defended on the grounds that anyone who is opposed to it is an atheist or criminal. No. I am opposed on the grounds of separation of church and state. I am opposed because it is a poor use of the precious school hours. I am opposed because this is marketing and not education. The only schools that should advertise this during classes are the PRIVATE, church-based schools. I attended one of these schools. This kind of event was a regular occurrence at my old school. I am not against the event, I am angry that my public school system used cloudy judgment.