Whether prayer should be included in traditional schools or not has been a subject of on-going, heated debates not only in the US, but also in other countries. While some people argue in favor of the practice, others strongly believe that there should not be any religious dimension to education. For one, proponents think that it can help maintain discipline and allow children to follow their religion in school, while others think it is unnecessary. So, should prayer be included in a regular school day, or should it be banned in educational institutions? Let us take a look at it pros and cons.
List of Pros of Prayer in Public Schools
1. It allows freedom of religion.
Banning the practice of praying in school would mean that children are being deprived of their freedom of religion. It would be regarded as a non-religious practice, and prayers are believed to give students the right to observe their religion.
2. It teaches moral values to children.
Proponents argue that allowing children to pray at school is beneficial in a way that it fosters the importance of moral values in children. There are certain qualities that prayer can instill in schoolchildren, such as discipline and humility.
3. It offers benefits to society.
It is said that prayer in public schools can provide societal benefits. According to those who support the policy, the increasing rate of abuse and violence in schools can be curbed with such a practice, as it would help the children to remain away from bad practices.
4. It helps cultivate children’s minds.
By allowing prayer in schools, these institutions are not only training its students academically, but are also cultivating their minds.
List of Cons of Prayer in Public Schools
1. It can give rise to religious discrimination.
Considering that public schools are educational institutions, opponents argue why religion should be included in them. They believe that prayers can give rise to feelings of religious inequality and discrimination in children’s minds, and would expose students to religious differences.
2. It uses up time that should be spent on education.
Critics say that the time that should be used for something educational is somehow being used up in prayers. Also, they argue that children are free to observe their religion at home, and it is not really necessary to introduce religion in schools through prayers.
3. It could violate the freedom of religion.
In a school that is funded by the government, the religion followed by the government could be forced on the children. In this situation, prayers in schools could be a violation of the freedom of religion. Opponents suggest that allowing students to pray during their free time is enough to let them practice their religion.
If you are to focus on the moral aspect of prayer in public schools, rather than its religious aspect, it would seem to be very beneficial. However, if you are to take its religious point of view, it would not seem appropriate to have this practice as part of daily schooling. Based on the pros and cons listed above, do you think it is good for society as a whole, or not?