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More Freedom Than You Know

Jessica Kuznicki, Writer

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Most people in the United States think students attending public schools cannot talk about their religion. In reality, students have much more freedom to express their faith than they realize.

Thursday October 6, 2016 is national Bring Your Bible To School Day, a day when many thousands of Christian students all over the country exercise their religious freedom by bringing their Bible into the public school. It is a student-organized, student-led event completely within their rights as Americans.

Students may bring Bibles to school, tell others of their faith, and pray with others. They can do this if it is done during non-instructional time and as long as they are not forcing anyone else to join them or being disruptive.

Equal rights mean if students are allowed to express a non-religious view then students are also allowed to express religious views.

School officials cannot promote religion, but they cannot stop students from sharing what they believe. During class discussions, students can take a religious perspective if what they’re saying is relevant to the topic. Teachers’ jobs are to educate so they can teach about religion, but they cannot influence or persuade people from believing one way or another.

The mistaken view is students cannot express their faith due to separation of church and state . Quite the contrary, student speech is much different from government-promoted speech. There is a difference from publicly endorsed speech and private speech. Prayer is private so students may encourage each other to pray even though the school cannot endorse religious practices. Events like Bring Your Bible To School Day are protected by the First Amendment and an organization called Alliance Defending Freedom who help students stand up and fight for their rights to religious freedom.

Most Christian students today are nervous about openly proclaiming their faith. They worry about what others will think, say, and how they might react. They stay quiet because they think the laws about religion in public schools are against them, not for them. Most students think they have to leave their faith behind when they set out for school each morning but the Bible and American freedom say differently.

For all the quiet Christians out there, you have much more freedom in expressing your faith than you think. In America, you are you are free to believe and you are free to proclaim.

For more information about national bring your Bible to school day and students rights to religion, please visit www.bringyourbible.org. You are not as alone as you think.

It’s important for students to know their rights, especially about matters of faith.

 

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The student news site of Pentucket Regional High School
More Freedom Than You Know