Thursday, April 06, 2006

Schools Around The Country Consider New Policies On Religious Issues

Schools around the country seem to be busy adopting new policies on religious issues. Here are three interesting examples.

Temecula, California school officials have updated their policy, which Tuesday's North County Times said was about to be presented for board approval. The new policy is intended to permit religious songs, such as Silent Night, to be performed as part of holiday musical programs. The draft policy provides that "programs having religious themes are permitted as part of the curriculum for school-sponsored activities and programs if presented in an objective manner and as a traditional part of the cultural and religious heritage." It goes on to state that religious symbols also are permitted as teaching aids as long as they are displayed as examples of the cultural and religious heritage of the holiday and are temporary.

Agape Press last week reported that the Lancaster, California school district has adopted new guidelines for the teaching of evolution. They provide that "discussions that question the theory of evolution may be appropriate as long as they do not stray from current criteria of scientific fact, hypothesis, and theory."

In Brunswick County, North Carolina, by a vote of 3-2 the Board of Education this week approved the first reading of policy permitting non-school-related "books and periodicals" including religious literature to be made available to high school students. The Brunswick Beacon reported yesterday that the ACLU and other groups had opposed the policy, arguing that religious materials in schools violates the separation of church and state doctrine.