Secular Recommendations: Education

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Secular Recommendations: Education2020-10-11T04:03:06+00:00


importance_of_educationStudents are constitutionally protected from religious coercion in public schools. Public school endorsement of any religion is unconstitutional and violates the rights of non-theistic students have the right to express their religious beliefs, in non-disruptive ways. Out of respect for these rights, public school teachers and administrators must remain neutral toward all forms of religion.

Our Recommendations on Education

Report: Altruism in Children

Jean Decety and colleagues assessed altruism┬áand moral cognition in six countries. ┬áParents in religious households reported┬áthat their children expressed more┬áempathy and sensitivity for justice in┬áeveryday life. However, religiousness was┬áinversely predictive of childrenÔÇÖs altruism┬áand positively correlated with their┬ápunitive tendencies. Prosocial behaviors are ubiquitous across societies.┬áThey emerge early in ontogeny [1] and are shaped by┬áinteractions between genes and culture [2, 3]. Over┬áthe course of middle childhood, sharing approaches┬áequality in distribution [4]. Since 5.8 billion humans,┬árepresenting 84% of the worldwide population, identify as religious [5], religion is arguably [...]


The current language of the Pledge of Allegiance as written in our federal laws states, ÔÇ£I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.ÔÇØ Forty-four states have laws that require public school classes recite the Pledge of Allegiance or mandates to school districts to set aside time for its recitation. Three of the six states without these laws have bills in their legislature [...]


The Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down as unconstitutional attempts to inject prayer or other forms of devotional practices into public schools. The Establishment Clause forbids school-sponsored prayer. Classroom prayers and Bible readings are unconstitutional, even if students are excused from participating. Inclusion of prayer as part of the official school program gives government power over religion. Even supposedly neutral prayers privilege religion over non-religion and are unacceptable. Public school teachers and administrators must remain neutral concerning religion while carrying out their duties. It is [...]


Public schools must teach science, not religion, in science classes. Laws banning teaching evolution are unconstitutional. ÔÇ£Balanced TreatmentÔÇØ laws that require teachers to give ÔÇ£creation scienceÔÇØ or ÔÇ£Intelligent DesignÔÇØ equal classroom time to evolution are equally unconstitutional. Because of consistent federal court defeats, creationists no longer approach policymakers using ÔÇ£creation scienceÔÇØ terminology, but Biblical teaching must stay out of our public school science classrooms however it may be rebranded. If government-funded schools teach creationism, the government appears to endorse Bible-based religion, trampling on the principles [...]


Students deserve sex education programs that provide the information and skills necessary to make informed, responsible, and healthy decisions to reduce unintended pregnancy, partner-on-partner violence, STIs and HIV. Sex education in publicly funded schools must be medically accurate and free from religious influence. Abstinence-only sex education is religiously motivated and ineffective. Eighty-eight percent of students break their abstinence pledges. Two-thirds of high school students have had sex. Comprehensive sex education leads to a measurable reduction in early sex, unprotected sex, and number of sexual partners. [...]


Non-theist, secular student groups are entitled to the same rights and protections as other extra-curricular student groups. At the college level, non-theist groups occasionally face harassment, discrimination, and limitations on available funding and other resources. Public colleges and universities are obliged to protect the first and fourteenth amendment rights of students. In secondary schools, secular student groups are protected by the Equal Access Act, which ensures that all student groups are treated equally and enjoy equal access to resources. Public institutions of higher education must [...]


Public funds should not support parochial schools, either directly or indirectly through voucher programs. Vouchers provide citizens with direct funding to apply to private school tuitions. Scholarship funds and other tax deduction programs fund private religious institutions indirectly by allowing taxpayers to claim tax credits on their personal income taxes, reducing the amount paid to the state and shifting the money to the private school of the taxpayerÔÇÖs choice. Both programs allow for the public funding of religious educations. Seventy-six percent of private schools in [...]

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