Sample English Essays on Prayer in School

Prayer in School

Schools are part of learning institutions that operate under the requirements of the law as enshrined in the Constitution. This means that in the process of developing their policies that are the foundation of the rules and regulations, schools must consider constitutional provisions (Chapin 300). When sending their children to school, parents should be comfortable that their children will not be subjected to mandatory prayer which is per the religious practices of someone else’s faith. Even in situations whereby students share the same faith, their decision to engage in prayer should be voluntary. Such voluntary engagement allows students to read religious books in a non-disruptive manner, and they may form or join religious clubs by choice.

The constitutional provision that advocates for the separation of the church and the state allows public schools to teach but not preach about religion. These learning institutions can develop a curriculum that even-handedly and objectively instructs students about religion (Peterson et al. 36). These include the incorporation of issues like the impact that religion has had on different disciplines such as history, literature, and music, or teachings on comparative religion (Chapin 305). The role of schools is to educate and instruct students in ways that enhance their skill capacity and knowledge. This means that schools should not proselytize students who, by nature of their learning environment, are a captive audience. Allowing prayers in schools can be considered as a coercive approach that to some extent can be perceived as a radicalization or religious bias (Chapin 310). In as much as the students in their early school days may perceive prayer recited as part of their daily classroom routine to be voluntary, denying them the opportunity to decide whether to engage or disengage in prayer may be considered as curtailing their freedom of religion (Chapin 310). This is because the choice of religion and religious denomination is a private and personal matter. Introducing prayer in school may create barriers of exploration, especially among children who do not have exposure to religious differences.

It is important for schools to embrace neutrality on issues of religion. This is because schools, especially public schools, are for all children irrespective of their religious background (Chapin 311). Since taxpayers finance all public schools, their effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of services will be determined by the extent to which they are free of religious coercion and observance (Peterson et al. 37). The responsibility of instilling religious beliefs in children is considered as the sacred duty of religious denominations and parents, which makes it free from government involvement (Chapin 311). To this extent, the institutionalization of prayers in schools assumes parental rights and responsibilities. Proponents of prayers in school often mistake the neutrality approach of government to matters of religion as hostility.

Prayers in schools can be considered as an invasion by the dominant religious denomination because it singles out minority religious groups. Through such intrusion, children from other religions may feel discriminated as oppressed by the dictates of the dominant religion because they will be required to participate in issues related to the fundamental beliefs of that religion. Furthermore, dishonesty occurs when calling for voluntary prayer in schools. This is due to the fact that when the school administration proposes the students to pray either by demanding them to vote on the matter or by penning, it is usually promoting and enforcing such prayer. This explains why in making prayer an official part of the school activities, schools are coercing students.



Works Cited

Chapin, Rosemary. Social Policy for Effective Practice: A Strengths Approach. Routledge, 2017.

Peterson, Paul E. et al. Teachers Versus the Public: What Americans Think About Their Schools and How to Fix Them. Brookings Institution Press, 2014.