Improve schools – improve democracy

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Editor;

What’s wrong with public schools in the U.S.? A big part of the problem must deal with separation of church and state. There is a wall of separation but politicians and religious leaders jump over the wall for a pastime. It is a symbiotic situation. The politician gets his religious vote after his Hail Marys and the religious people get to call the platform of the anointed party as their own.

Late in the 20th century, some atheists saw what was going on and they were instrumental in getting Bible reading & prayer removed from the classroom.  I think it was a huge mistake on the part of atheists to do this. Students were never told what was going on between church and state. Separation issues were never explained. Schools became almost completely secular. Well educated teachers lost an important part of what they could be teaching and students evidentially thought religion was so sacrosanct that it was never to be mentioned.

School administrators made no attempt to go to court for curriculum change and a new teaching method to replace what was lost. Teachers wound up with secular schools and they found that this was not what teaching was all about. Religion cannot be divorced from most school subjects.

Religion, like politicians, can be good, bad or ugly. It should be up to the student (without proselytizing taking place) with research, debate, and discussion to find out what is best for them. Feeble attempts were made to introduce comparative religion classes. These superficial attempts proved useless. These classes did point the students to the same qualities possessed by the mono-theistic religions, but not their relations with the state.

Pastors, priests, imams, and rabbis should be satisfied with the school secular system but not the schools. Perhaps it is going to take a conclave of lawyers to give public education a needed change. We should not have an expurgated learning process. Improve schools – improve democracy.

Ray Standiford