Should Schools Teach the Bible as a Mandated Curriculm?
Children Should Blossom!
Values , Government, and the Bible
Some states now think that the Bible should be a state-mandated part of education in public schools. As a former educator in looking at the curriculum that is needed in public education by all children, then I say that it should be considered as a book in the school library that can be read by the child at any time in his or her education. I do not feel that with as many denominations as this country has that it should be taught by a school. It is a history book that is perceived by those of the time period and before and after the recorded coming of Jesus. In my own religion, there is my knowledge that this comes with values and the training and directing of a child to grow in a path that leads them to treat others fairly and with respect. That is my religion, but there has been in my lifetime events which made me see beyond that Bible to the need to be a person treating others with respect and with great caring. Teachers are not trained to teach religion, but in this case, no other religion or ethnic group is thought of. This is not a unity of religion either. We have a vast amount of denominations who value life and laws of their churches differently. Even though our nation was built on the words "Under God We Trust", then I look at a maker or being we look up to as our creator. Then we come up with another issue called creation. Some argue on all sides of the fence on this one. I must ask the question how fair is this to all of those religions that have a different book they observe.
It is my opinion as an educator that teachers need to teach respect in the classroom and basic values that observe a "Golden Rule Theory". These children have been dealt a bad situation in life, when there is no parent or parents to raise them. We also wonder why we have no control over behaviors and issues like bullying in school. Before anyone can set upon teaching the Bible, then our communities need to be finding the best in every child and working toward not teaching a test but teaching each child the basics of values. Values were once taught in public education, before teaching the test became educations major goal for their lives. Many of these children find religion and a desire to read the Bible important to them, because someone sought to be a good role model to them. Most important to me was always having the right to pray, when a class, teacher or student body needed to do so. That means not requiring all to go through it with them, but to let them have that time to do so, if they feel the need. There are definitely times that call for this unity together for those who have their religious convictions in life.
There are times in my life that brought me to pray even with a different kind of religious person that was not as they called me a"Christian", and I will never forget that Muslim man asking me to pray for a small infant born and near death. We prayed by our own faith together, and we saw no one religion at the time. We saw a child in need of us both. Respect and values go a long way in our world. This special book that is called a Bible must be handled very carefully and not twisted nor distorted as has happened by those who had other motives in life. Please be careful to consider how this is done, and this should be not a state-mandated education in public school. It should be a teaching of values and allowing those in need to pray, when they feel the need to gather in a corner together for that moment. This is my input on this issue coming out in public at this time. We are one people United by the flag of the United States of America. That means we respect all in our country no matter their specific religion or ethnic group. I have learned to love children of many races and creeds, and in my heart, I love them as if they were my own children. Many of them think of me as a mother to them. I once taught a special needs child in Kindergarten that stood before me with his new infant daughter. He told me that I was going to be the first one to hold his daughter, because I had earned that love and respect from him. I thought 12 years have gone by, but that child would not forget my caring about him in school. I also remember a child in high school that was losing her home on Thanksgiving. As she stood before me, then I knew what I had to do was help her family. This is values that we show and teach our children. I remember vividly a child in Junior High School that was always worried about his father chasing criminals and being a police officer. He felt like his father might get in a car accident. The accident came all right, but he was on his way to his sister's wedding, when the car his father was driving was struck and his father was killed. I had moved away from the school system, but his aunt found me, and she told me what had happened, and that I needed to talk to him. I gladly offered to speak to that boy. He made me a promise that he would someday become an FBI officer to honor his father. I would never have thought my influence on his life and education would have meant so much to him. What an honor I felt to be wanted by my student to face this dilemma. This would have been a time that I would not have minded praying with him right on the spot. We were two hours away from each other, but our bond of respect and values was right there at that moment on the phone in time.
As a teacher, I spent 29 years devoted to education, and I had to face the fear of dying. I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. I had students that came to me with their feelings about my life, and each one of these former students told me that I was going to fight this disease, and I was not allowed to give up on my life. This made my heart proud, and these students that I had spent my life devoted to them and their siblings year after year were there for me. I have survived 4 years being cancer-free.
Life is a two-way street, and you get out of it what you put into it. This is the role-model that teachers must demonstrate in education. The Bible was important to me, but the power of love and understanding was the gifts that developing values as a small child blessed my life, and it also blessed the lives of all my students. A Bible should be around, and available to anyone to share. All other religions would say their book belongs there too. Can all the states tell me that by voting to put it in the curriculum of public education that they have honestly looked at all people or only those that follow the Bible? Education must include all the children with different ethnic values and backgrounds! I have noticed a great decline in values since things like being able to pray, and say the pledge and giving a scripture of the day were taken out of school forever. As much as I can say this was a factor of things to come, then I must also look at how these students are taught the values in life.
The greatest experience that I learned on my own came from my own family. A family that sings to you the words like Jesus loves me, or Jesus loves the little children no matter red, yellow, black or white, then they are all precious in his sight.
I see great people like Martin Luther King demonstrate in his philosophy of education, when it mentions that all children should be educated no matter what.
I also remember that parents and their voices made a difference in the public school. It was working for the best possible education for all children. I say we need to put back all that matters in education, teach the basics, and then teach all those unique things that allow for creative production and thoughts. I want to remove bullying, violence, and insecurity in education. Education is for all the children no matter their intellectual levels. Let us take all communities and find the best in all children. If they display the worst behaviors, then we fix them as a community and school system.