Religion, Teaching About in Schools

Knowledge about religions is necessary for understanding and living in the contemporary United States and grasping the meaning of major world events. Knowledge of religious differences and the role of religion in the contemporary world can help promote understanding and alleviate prejudice. If our schools are to provide students with a comprehensive education, then the academic study of religions should be part of the curriculum. However, educators are often reticent when it comes to dealing with religious issues in the classroom. This may occur because of inadequate understanding of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits religious advocacy and devotional practice in public schools. It may also be guided by a desire not to “offend” or marginalize students of any given religious background. ...

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