Religion in public schools could stunt young minds

Religion in public schools could stunt young minds

Chioma Iheoma, Opinion Editor

Students at JC get a positive mix of science and religion. However, states across the United States are introducing legislation that could negatively impact students’ young minds and the future of the country.

Several states across the country are introducing legislation, commonly called “Academic Freedom Acts,” to allow teachers to educate their students on creationism, rather than evolution or to compare the two.

One such bill, introduced in Colorado, would allow teachers to teach evolution and global warming however they want because such subjects “can cause controversy.”

Legislation like this allows teachers in certain states to be lazy and not teach scientific facts to the open minds of their students because of an imagined controversy. While this may make certain teachers and doubters of science comfortable, this will only hurt the students of these particular teachers in the long run. When these minds become the backbone of the country, the progress of the country may be stifled.

Another problem with such bills is that public funding of schools that allow their teachers to teach religious aspects of science is actually unconstitutional. The curriculum for these classes would be different across each school system and across each state.

The First Amendment does not allow government to provide money to favor one religion over the other. With different teachers across different religious backgrounds teaching their own views, this problem would occur.

In order to please all people, lawmakers should look to religiously-affiliated schools, such as JC, for inspiration on how to combat “scientific controversy” in schools.

Students here learn about biological evolution and the origin of life through science classes. The “scientific controversy” that some states are trying to evade is the conflict that people have between their religion and scientific topics such as cloning, evolution, and global warming.

As a religious school, JC manages to produce educated students while keeping religion out of the science classroom. States who are struggling with this balance in public schools should keep religious/personal views out of the science classroom. Educating students about the controversies behind these subjects is the job of their parents.

Allowing teachers to educate their students about their personal/religious views on scientific topics will only hurt the students in the long run. If religious schools can separate religion from science than state legislators should too.

Chioma Iheoma is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and