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Religion in Public Schools: A Survey. What is the controversy? Currently, there exists controversy about the endorsement and use of religion in public.

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Presentation on theme: "Religion in Public Schools: A Survey. What is the controversy? Currently, there exists controversy about the endorsement and use of religion in public."— Presentation transcript:

1 Religion in Public Schools: A Survey

2 What is the controversy? Currently, there exists controversy about the endorsement and use of religion in public schools. Omission of religious words like God from the pledge of allegiance has been brought to the table around the country.

3 Constitutionality The question of freedom of speech and religion is brought up, with many people not choosing to acknowledge a God. Schools are government institutions, and thus fall under the separation of Church and State as well.

4 Religious Practice During School There has been controversy over allowing students to leave class, whether for a few minutes or a full day, for religious practice. Some schools are conflicted on the matter on whether they should about religion in history.

5 Gallup.com provides a chart on public opinion of religion in schools:

6 Some cartoons that illustrate and satirize the issue:

7 Survey Questions Survey Questions 1. How should school-wide moments of silence and memorials be conducted? A. Secularly (with no religious bias) B. Non-secularly (with religious bias) 2. Muslims are required to pray five times a day. Some teachers allow students to leave the classroom, while others dont. Should students be allowed to leave class to fulfill religious obligations (to pray, etc.)? A. Yes, it is their right B. No, they may miss something important C. No, no child should get special treatment for their religion 3. What should schools teach to students about the origin of the universe? A. Creationism, and other religious beliefs only B. The Big Bang Theory, evolution by natural selection, and other scientific theories only C. Both scientific and religious theories D. None at all

8 4. When should schools set vacation days? A. Around religious holidays of common religions B. Around all religious holidays C. With no regard for holidays 5. Should students be required to say under God while repeating the pledge of allegiance at school? A. Yes, it should be required B. No, students may remain silent at that part C. No, students may replace God with another word 6. Should student based religious clubs be allowed to hold demonstrations on school grounds? A. Yes, because it is the freedom of expression/speech B. No, because public schools should be non-religiously biased 7. Should schools allow students to express their religious beliefs through clothing choices? A. Yes, they should be allowed to wear what they want in all cases, in the name of religion B. No, schools should remain unbiased C. Yes, but only if the clothing does not cover their face (like veils and burkas)

9 8. Should world history textbooks teach the histories of religions? A. Yes, for Christianity only B. Yes, for all religions C. No, history should be taught without studying religion 9. In our district, SDUHSD, the teachers of Jewish students who miss school for Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are directed not to penalize these students for anything they had missed that day. Should this policy be extended to all religions? A. Yes, everyone has freedom of religion B. No, it would allow too many kids to miss school.

10 Subgroup A This subgroup was comprised of female high school students (<20 years old) who identify themselves as Christian. Seven people were polled in this subgroup. We predicted the following answers to the questions in the survey: 1.How should school-wide moments of silence and memorials be conducted? - Non-secularly (with religious bias) 2. Should students be allowed to leave class to fulfill religious obligations (to pray, etc.)? - Yes, it is their right 3. What should schools teach to students about the origin of the universe? - Both scientific and religious theories

11 4. When should schools set vacation days? - Around religious holidays of common religions 5. Should students be required to say under God while repeating the pledge of allegiance at school? - Yes, it should be required 6. Should student based religious clubs be allowed to hold demonstrations on school grounds? - Yes, because it is the freedom of expression/speech 7. Should schools allow students to express their religious beliefs through clothing choices? - Yes, but only if the clothing does not cover their face (like veils and burkas) 8. Should world history textbooks teach the histories of religions? - Yes, for all religions 9. Should the policy of excusing absences for religious holidays be extended to all religions? - No, it would allow too many kids to miss school

12 Subgroup B This subgroup was comprised of men from years of age that have two or more years of college, and identify as Jewish. Six people were polled in this subgroup. We predicted the following answers to the questions in the survey: 1.How should school-wide moments of silence and memorials be conducted? - Secularly (with no religious bias) 2. Should students be allowed to leave class to fulfill religious obligations (to pray, etc.)? -Yes, it is their right 3. What should schools teach to students about the origin of the universe? - The Big Bang Theory, evolution by natural selection, and other scientific theories only

13 4. When should schools set vacation days? - Around all religious holidays 5. Should students be required to say under God while repeating the pledge of allegiance at school? - No, students may replace God with another word 6. Should student based religious clubs be allowed to hold demonstrations on school grounds? - Yes, because it is the freedom of expression/speech 7. Should schools allow students to express their religious beliefs through clothing choices? - Yes, they should be allowed to wear what they want in all cases, in the name of religion 8. Should world history textbooks teach the histories of religions? - Yes, for all religions 9. Should the policy of excusing absences for religious holidays be extended to all religions? - Yes, everyone has freedom of religion

14 Subgroup C This subgroup was comprised of women from years of age with two or more years of college that do not identify as religious. Six people were polled in this subgroup. We predicted the following answers to the questions in the survey: 1.How should school-wide moments of silence and memorials be conducted? - Secularly (with no religious bias) 2. Should students be allowed to leave class to fulfill religious obligations (to pray, etc.)? - Yes, it is their right 3. What should schools teach to students about the origin of the universe? - The Big Bang Theory, Evolution by natural selection, and other scientific theories only

15 4. When should schools set vacation days? - Around religious holidays of common religions 5. Should students be required to say under God while repeating the pledge of allegiance at school? - No, students may replace God with another word 6. Should student based religious clubs be allowed to hold demonstrations on school grounds? - Yes, because it is the freedom of expression/speech 7. Should schools allow students to express their religious beliefs through clothing choices? - Yes, they should be allowed to wear what they want in all cases, in the name of religion 8. Should world history textbooks teach the histories of religions? - Yes, for all religions 9. Should the policy of excusing absences for religious holidays be extended to all religions? - No, it would allow too many kids to miss school

16 Survey Results for Subgroup A 1. How should school-wide moments of silence and memorials be conducted? A. Secularly (with no religious bias) (5) B. Non-secularly (with religious bias) (2) 2. Should students be allowed to leave class to fulfill religious obligations (to pray, etc.)? A. No, they may miss something important (5) B. No, no child should get special treatment for their religion (2) C. Yes, it is their right (0) 3. What should schools teach to students about the origin of the universe? A. Creationism, and other religious beliefs only (0) B. The Big Bang Theory, Evolution by natural selection, and other scientific theories only (3) C. Both scientific and religious theories (4) D. None (0)

17 4. When should schools set vacation days? A. Around religious holidays of common religions (7) B. Around all religious holidays (0) B. With no regard for holidays (0) 5. Should students be required to say under God while repeating the pledge of allegiance at school? A. Yes, it should be required (2) B. No, students may remain silent at that part (4) C. No, students may replace God with another word (1) 6. Should student based religious clubs be allowed to hold demonstrations on school grounds? A. Yes, because it is the freedom of expression/speech (6) B. No, because public schools should be non-religiously biased (1)

18 7. Should schools allow students to express their religious beliefs through clothing choices? A. Yes, they should be allowed to wear what they want in all cases, in the name of religion (1) B. No, schools should remain unbiased (0) C. Yes, but only if the clothing does not cover their face (like veils and burkas) (6) 8. Should world history textbooks teach the histories of religions? A. Yes, for all religions (7) B. No, history should be taught without studying religion (0) C. Yes, for Christianity only (0) 9. Should the policy of excusing absences for religious holidays be extended to all religions? A. Yes, everyone has freedom of religion (5) B. No, it would allow too many kids to miss school (2)

19 Survey Results for Subgroup B 1. How should school-wide moments of silence and memorials be conducted? A. Secularly (with no religious bias) (7) B. Non-secularly (with religious bias) (0) 2. Should students be allowed to leave class to fulfill religious obligations (to pray, etc.)? A. Yes, it is their right (3) B. No, they may miss something important (1) C. No, no child should get special treatment for their religion (3) 3. What should schools teach to students about the origin of the universe? A. Creationism, and other religious beliefs only (0) B. The Big Bang Theory, evolution by natural selection, and other scientific theories only (5) C. Both scientific and religious theories (2) D. None at all (0)

20 4. When should schools set vacation days? A. Around religious holidays of common religions (2) B. Around all religious holidays (2) C. With no regard for holidays (3) 5. Should students be required to say under God while repeating the pledge of allegiance at school? A. Yes, it should be required (0) B. No, students may remain silent at that part (7) C. No, students may replace God with another word (0) 6. Should student based religious clubs be allowed to hold demonstrations on school grounds? A. Yes, because it is the freedom of expression/speech (4) B.No, because public schools should be non-religiously biased (3)

21 7. Should schools allow students to express their religious beliefs through clothing choices? A. Yes, they should be allowed to wear what they want in all cases, in the name of religion (3) B. No, schools should remain unbiased (1) C. Yes, but only if the clothing does not cover their face (like veils and burkas) (3) 8. Should world history textbooks teach the histories of religions? A. Yes, for all religions (6) B. No, history should be taught without studying religion (1) C. Yes, for Christianity only (0) 9. Should the policy of excusing absences for religious holidays be extended to all religions? A. Yes, everyone has freedom of religion (5) B. No, it would allow too many kids to miss school (2)

22 Survey Results for Subgroup C 1. How should school-wide moments of silence and memorials be conducted? A. Secularly (with no religious bias) (4) B. Non-secularly (with religious bias) (2) 2. Should students be allowed to leave class to fulfill religious obligations (to pray, etc.)? A. Yes, it is their right (2) B. No, they may miss something important (1) C. No, no child should get special treatment for their religion (3) 3. What should schools teach to students about the origin of the universe? A. Creationism, and other religious beliefs only (0) B. The Big Bang Theory, evolution by natural selection, and other scientific theories only (1) C. Both scientific and religious theories (5) D. None at all (0)

23 4. When should schools set vacation days? A. Around religious holidays of common religions (3) B. Around all religious holidays (0) C. With no regard for holidays (3) 5. Should students be required to say under God while repeating the pledge of allegiance at school? A. Yes, it should be required (1) B. No, students may remain silent at that part (4) C. No, students may replace God with another word (1) 6. Should student based religious clubs be allowed to hold demonstrations on school grounds? A. Yes, because it is the freedom of expression/speech (4) B.No, because public schools should be non-religiously biased (2)

24 7. Should schools allow students to express their religious beliefs through clothing choices? A. Yes, they should be allowed to wear what they want in all cases, in the name of religion (2) B. No, schools should remain unbiased (2) C. Yes, but only if the clothing does not cover their face (like veils and burkas) (2) 8. Should world history textbooks teach the histories of religions? A. Yes, for all religions (6) B. No, history should be taught without studying religion (0) C. Yes, for Christianity only (0) 9. Should the policy of excusing absences for religious holidays be extended to all religions? A. Yes, everyone has freedom of religion (4) B. No, it would allow too many kids to miss school (2)

25 Conclusion Cleavages in public opinion are caused by a variety of factors, such as age, religion, and gender. Our results showed the gender gap to be less significant than the age gap. Subgroups tend to share similar ideology, but there are still strong variances within the groups based on individual opinions -However, it is very likely these would decrease if we increased our sample size

26 Conclusion In this graph from Ch. 7 of the textbook, religion is a large determinant of if prayer should be allowed in school. In our poll, nearly all of the Christians we surveyed supported student led prayer and religious demonstrations at school, while those who are Jewish or Nonreligious had more mixed views. Prayer in School – Percent that Strongly Agree (2001)

27 Conclusion Other things we learned: The study of religions in World History class appeared to be a valence issue, one which nearly every person surveyed supported. This project also taught us the difficulty of creating a poll (forming questions, soliciting responses, and predicting outcomes).


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