Angie Sullivan is an elementary school teacher.  She is concerned about a bill that has been introduced in the Nevada legislature that would permit children to pray at any time and place while in school. Angie explains why this is a very bad idea. It is hard to believe that legislators meddle in the work of schools in other countries as much as they do here.

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Angie writes:

“I am spiritual and I pray all the time. I also observe a moment of silence every morning at my public school in Las Vegas.  And sometimes I pray silently at that time.

This bill is not doing what it is intended to do.

Picture this:  My classroom begins.  We are having a reading lesson and a student loudly announces we need to pray and continuously shouts a loud prayer for an hour.   Disrupting my instruction.  Possibly offending students of other religions.  And I can do nothing.

Now picture this:   a Muslim Child enrolls and does the same thing praying loudly whenever they want in Arabic.  And I can do nothing.

Then picture this:  a Wiccan Child enrolls and does the same thing praying loudly whenever the thought hits.  And I can do nothing.

Are you going to intolerantly spell out which religions are allowed to pray in schools?  That would be an interesting list – will you include my religion – who will you exclude? 

Since I think this bill is about being able to pray in your own religious language – you have not considered fully the diverse religions that pray. If your child are allowed – so is everyone else whether they are Christian or other.

I’m not actually adverse to prayer by any and all.  And I’m tolerant of religions.  I appreciate diversity.  If I did not have a job to do I would probably find it interesting.

But I’m not a spiritual leader – I’m a public school educator.

I’m adverse to the disruption that will occur in my classroom – if I cannot tell a student – now is not the time or place.

Separation of church and state makes us all more free because we exercise our personal beliefs at the appropriate time and no one is allowed to take our academic instruction.”