Prayer, meditation has

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 1999

its place in schools

Published Sept. 28, 1999

Prayer. It is an important part of many people’s lives, but does it have it’s place in our schools?

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We think so. But we do not think prayer should be a mandatory part of the daily activities at educational institutions.

Currently, laws concerning prayer in schools, according to the Anti-Defammation League, say, as a general rule "organized prayer in the public school setting, whether in the classroom or at a school-sponsored event, is unconstitutional. The only type of prayer that is constitutionally permissible is private and volunteer student prayer."

We advocate these rules and the freedom they give to individual students of differing denominations. But that does not mean that we oppose prayer in schools.

If the laws were changed to make prayer a day-to-day part of school activities we would continue support the law, but would have to question the constitutionality of it. By making prayer a part of the school, the rights of many students would be violated.

As it stands now, prayer is schools cannot be initiated by administration, faculty or teachers, but can be led by privately or by students. We encourage school officials to continue to respect the constitutional rights of the students.

Before laws are challenged or changed we hope those who support and oppose prayer is schools realize the importance of quiet time for prayer or meditation to many students and the part it plays in their lives.