Prayer in schools is always a controversial topic.
I am all for prayer. And I certainly think prayer should be allowed in schools. It actually is allowed in schools. Students can get together at any time and pray. Or students can pray on their own. They just can not be required or led to pray by a school administrator.
As much as I think prayer benefits us all and is something I would strong encourage everyone to participate in, I don’t think that prayer should be placed as a requirement in schools.
We are a country founded on freedom of religion. That means we all don’t pray to the same God. And as much as I hate to say it, that means freedom to not believe in a religion is also allowed. If schools were to have sanctioned prayer time it would be forcing a specific religion upon students, even if they believed in a different religion or none at all.
If we are talking private religious schools, then at that point I would have no issue with the school leading prayer. But the parents have made a decision to send the child to a specific religiously affiliated school and so that should be expected as part of the curriculum.
Some people would argue that the public schools should have prayer and just let the students excuse themselves from the room if they don’t want to participate. While that seems like a logical and easy compromise, I could see it leading to issues.
School age children are already teased about differences that may be obvious. Students who may not be able to afford the latest fashions, students who may not be as smart as others, etc. If the student was to excuse themselves from the room simply because he did not want to participate, this would be opening the student up to just another difference which may lead them to be teased.
Prayer is always where I turn for answers and help when I need it. But to be forced upon someone else would be to violate their right to freedom of religion, or lack of religion as the case may be.