Commentary: Religious debate in school? No: Teachers are there to teach, not preach

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Source: Orlando Sentinel

BY Rachel Laser

An elementary schoolteacher walks around her classroom in Louisiana asking each of her young students what they want to pray for, they bow their heads and she recites a Christian prayer. But not all of her students are Christian. Do they opt out and risk being ostracized?

A coach in Michigan leads his players in prayer on a public high-school football field after the games. But not all the kids agree with the coach’s faith, and some are not religious at all. Do they not participate, but then have to worry about the coach retaliating and not letting them play in the next game?

Even as we turn the corner into 2019 in America, debates about the proper role of religion in public schools are widespread. But they shouldn’t be. Too many communities have been torn apart by these contentious fights. There is an answer that should please most people while protecting the rights of young people: Schools should teach, but not preach, religion.

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