Many agree with decision; yetmany disagree including myself. Prayer should be allowed in public schoolbecause it is already practiced, it prevents immoral acts, and it enhances thelearning environment. The issue of prayer in school has been debated in the U. S. since the North West Treaty (1787and 1789) which states: ” Religion, morality,and the knowledge being necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of learning shall forever be engorged.
” Thus,religion, which includes prayer, was deemed to be necessary. Many people believethat prayer is not allowed in the public schools. In fact prayer is allowed inthe school system on buses, at the flagpole, in student religious groups, and inthe cafeteria. However, prayer is not permitted in the classroom itself whenclass is in session. Prayer in class would violate the principles of church-state separation, which is defined by court interpretations of the FirstAmendment.
This requires that public school teachers, principals, and boards tobe religiously neutral. The reason for this is to prevent any arguments amongstudents and teachers about their specific religion. Public schools had prayerfor nearly two hundred years before the supreme court ruled that state- mandatedclass prayers were unconstitutional (Engle, 1962) The fact that prayer waspracticed for nearly two-hundred years established it by precedent as abeneficial practice in our schools. Since the court outlawed prayer, the nationhas been in steady moral decline. Former secretary of education William Bennettrevealed in his cultured indexes that between 1960 and1990 there was a steadymoral decline.
During this period divorce doubled, teenage pregnancy went up200%, teen suicide increased 300%, child abuse reached an all time high, violentcrime went up 500% and abortion increased 1000% . Morals must be taught and theycan not be taught properly without religion, because most of the strong moralbeliefs stem from religion such as the Ten Commandments. There is a strongcorrelation between the expulsion of prayer from our schools and the decline inmorality. The third argument is prayer enhances the learning environment atpublic schools. Prayer enhances the learning environment because when there is atest coming up or a paper due, you think to yourself, ” How am I going to doall of this, and do well?” I know from personal experiences, that having anumber of assignments due at the same time can be frustrating. When thishappens, I always turn to God, and he guides and gives me strength andunderstanding.
The outcome from doing praying is always good and the things thatI asked for in my prayer are always bestowed upon me. Prayer may not enhanceeveryone’s learning environment but I know before I start my day, I ask God tolet me have a good day and let everything that I do, be a true learningexperience for me. The experience may not always be good, but if it happens, ithappens for a reason. Finally, I will end with a quote from ” An OutrageousIdea: Natural Prayer” written by Patty Jo Cornish. ” We have forgotten thatwe are all in this together and we keep separating ourselves by ourselves bycolors, by football teams, by clothes, by money, by creed, by greed, byboundaries, by age, and so on and on.
We need something to pull us all together,natural prayer could be that miracle. It includes everyone even thenon-believers.”