(Editor’s Note: A new column from a new columnist today…and she gets right into one of the messiest of the messy school subjects. Tell us what you think of the points raised below.–Ed.)
by Raiza R-K:
It’s been an ongoing debate for the longest time amongst a wide variety of people-the teachers, the students, the parents, the nudist-slash-sun worshipper who lives down the street… Yet still, we can’t decide what to do about prayer in schools.
But if we think that keeping prayer out of schools is keeping religion out of school like we’re “supposed” to, then let me ask you this:
What about Christmas?
To us commercialized Americans, Christmas is about the closest we can get to religion. Perhaps praying that you’ll make a fortune at the races counts, but as this piece is not designed to point out America’s gambling problem, I’ll stick to the holidays.
Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays in America, most likely because it’s a chance for all those spoiled little rotten brats to get ponies and puppies and expensive electronics like they asked. But its religious side usually doesn’t come out, unless the celebrating family knows anything about the holiday itself. Christmas is a holiday meant to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to hope that the sun will come out again following winter so that Spring will start again and all our families won’t die of starvation. At least, that’s what it meant in the old days.
But today, all Christmas is about to your average American family is getting gifts, baking cookies from store-bought dough, and watching small children beat each other up over who gets to put out cookies for Santa. For this reason, I don’t think it’s fair we consider Christmas a religious holiday anymore. (Let’s just say, my family is in the middle.)
A few members of the 7th-grade population of Jefferson Middle School seemed to agree on one point: Getting rid of Christmas at JMS isn’t the nicest idea on the planet.Hannah P.: No way! Kayla R.: That’s (expletive) up. Violet M.: That sucks, man! Victoria R.: Freedom of religion. All I have to say. Angie C.: I would be PO’ed.
But the problem still stands: Sure, we can keep Santa Claus (AKA Saint Nicholas, patron saint of thieves) in school, but if the Christian kids want to pray in school, they can’t, is what I’m getting from what I’ve heard. The simplest solution here is to just make up our minds. It’s not fair to have the Americanized (not sure if that’s a word) part celebrated, and the actual thing shoved to the side like math homework.
So I’ll let whoever reads this choose: Would you prefer that you not get Christmas break, not get holiday parties in class, or not being able to wish your friends a ‘Merry Christmas’ on the last day of classes before Christmas (I’m sorry, Winter) break? Or would you rather we have a room in our school set aside for optional prayer?
(Note: I was kidding about the nudist sun worshipper down the street thing.)