ERIC Number: ED457559
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Religious Liberty and the Public Schools. Fastback 479.
Haynes, Charles C.
The First Amendment supports one of the boldest and most successful experiments in religious liberty in human history. The challenge for 21st Century America is to sustain this extraordinary arrangement and expand its principles more fairly and justly to each and every citizen. Public schools are the principal institution charged with enabling Americans to live with one another's deepest differences. Over the past decade, religious and education groups from across the spectrum have adopted a series of consensus guidelines on matters of religious liberty such as religious holidays, student clubs, and cooperative arrangements between religious communities and public schools. The central philosophy revolves around the "civil school," where religion is not inculcated or inhibited but treated with fairness and respect. Such schools demonstrate fairness in that the curriculum includes study about religion, where appropriate, taught neutrally and objectively and as part of a complete education, for example, as a component and contributor to history, social studies, and literature, among other subjects. Proposed reform efforts include educating school leaders, adopting local policies, teaching the First Amendment, preparing teachers, offering religious studies, improving staff development, certifying religious studies, reforming the curriculum, and developing new classroom resources. (RT)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Civil Rights, Elementary Secondary Education, Public Schools, Religion, Religious Education, Religious Factors, Religious Holidays, Student Rights
Phi Delta Kappa International, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Tel: 800-766-1156 (Toll Free); Tel: 812-339-1156; Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.