American Samizdat

Tuesday, August 14, 2007. *
When afternoon recess comes at an elementary school on the outskirts of San Diego, some students rush out for a quick game of hopscotch, while others gather in a room for Muslim worship. Like a growing number of school districts around the country, San Diego's is changing its ways to meet the needs of its Islamic students. Here, a controversy with constitutional overtones erupted: In accommodating Muslim students, is the school unfairly promoting religion? The school's policy "presumes that Christians are less religious and less inspired to worship and praise the Lord and come together," says Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. He is asking the school district to set up special rooms where Christians can pray, too. [...]

For now, about 100 students in the Arabic language program at Carver Elementary School are finishing their first year under a daily schedule that gives them a 15-minute recess period in the afternoon, about an hour after lunch. Many of the students are Muslim and transferred from an Arabic-language charter school that folded. Carver Elementary revised its schedule so the students would have the option to pray at the specific times ordained by their religion, says attorney Brent North, who represents the school district. A teacher is present to watch the praying children but cannot lead or take part in the observance.

[Article continues at link. Since the First Amendment insures that no religion will be favored over any other by the State, I look forward to seperate rooms for Muslim boys and Muslim girls to pray in at public schools. Then rooms for Christians, because it wouldn't be right to favor Muslims over Christians. Then a room for Protestants and a room for Catholics. Then a room for each denomination of Protestants and each denomination of Catholic. Then Hindu, then all the Native American religions. Then all the dead religions, just in case those Gods are real and someone wants to worship them. Don't forget the Jews, and all the denominations of Judaism. Shinto, yes, Shinto. Seperate rooms for all, and time out of the school day for all - that's what equal representation is all about. Or maybe what the First Amendment means is that the State should stay out of the superstition business altogether, and that tax dollars should go to secular public schools not religious schools. There are religious schools, and parents are free to send their kids there. There is home schooling, and parents are free to home school their kids. Options exist outside of introducing superstition play time into the public school day.]

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posted by Trevor at 10:42 AM
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