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4 Bumps

1 of 2 - earning the right to leave class to pray with good grades

In reading the article, I thought it would be interesting for debate, but I also saw something disturbing mentioned in it, almost as an aside. I'm posting that as a separate question, but it involves the same article: Prince George’s Co. school lets Muslim students out of class to pray

tldr - Muslims are expected to pray at specific times each day.  This school agrees to let them out of class to pray for 8 minutes, but only if they have good grades.

Fair compromise?  Special privilege? Or should they be allowed without the grade requirement?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 7:32 PM on Jan. 29, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • It's a public school, no students should be given prayer time, period, IMO.

    Answer by 3libras at 7:42 PM on Jan. 29, 2013

  • I think it's a fair compromise. I kind of went into this more in my answer to the other question, lol. I think there is a difference between the school respecting the students' practices and being guilty of endorsing or pushing religion onto students. I really love that this school is trying to be respectful of those practices.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 7:55 PM on Jan. 29, 2013

  • I can pray in public school all I want , I simply pray - I close my eyes, say the words in my head. No special attention given.
    I do not however think that you can put a grade requirement on prayer
    parents know prayer is not done openly in private school so the should not expect provisions.

    Want your child to pray put them in private school
    Mine is in private school for many reasons, I know that if I choose to mover her to city school then I can not be mad if they do not pray every morning and sing Bible songs in assembly.

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 8:20 PM on Jan. 29, 2013

  • Ok I guess I answered/ asked in the other question what should be here.
    Does the class continue long without them or does it come to a standstill sot they do not miss out on instruction? A couple of schools I subbed for called a screching halt when students left for special instruction or prayer as in this case.
    If every one is allowed to stop at the same time and go to respective areas for their personal prayer time or devotion and those who do not have a religious affliation go to another place for the time I would have no problem. If the time fell over playground time, I would have no problem as long as every single child has the same opportunity at the same times.
    I am of the if one then all mindset. But if any one can not, then no one can.
    Just because it is a public school does not mean that anyone should not be allowed to pray in their own way, or so I am told.

    Answer by Dardenella at 8:47 PM on Jan. 29, 2013

  • I'm actually torn on this one.  On one hand, it is a public school, for the instruction of all children, equally.  To me, that means that it is the academic instruction that is the purpose of the school, and religious activities should be done on the students' own time.  A silent prayer before meals (or before tests) are well within a student's rights because that would not interfere with or infringe upon the rights and instruction of the other students. To grant special prayer time to a certain group of students seems like it would be disruptive.  If special accommodations are made for one group, then all should be allowed the same exceptions and be given the time for meditation, prayer, rituals, whatever their beliefs dictate.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 9:27 PM on Jan. 29, 2013

  • On the other hand, prayer is very structured for Muslims, and I'm not sure how Islam makes allowances for situations like meetings, school, etc.  I'd hate to say that Muslims should opt for a private school if they are not allowed to pray in their way in a public school because that seems discriminatory, as well.

    Excellent question, and as I said, I can see at least two sides to it.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 9:29 PM on Jan. 29, 2013

  • hmmmm...... I can see the idea that the primary focus of school is school work so I sort of see the good grades thing, but then again-if it violates their religious freedoms they kind of have to let them leave class to pray- I guess maybe the parents could come sign them out for prayer just like we allow parents to sign kids out for appts and even religious events-hmmmmm.......

    Answer by soyousay at 11:28 PM on Jan. 29, 2013

  • So te parents would aaaaaaahave to be at school every day to sign them out? That might interfere with their work schedule.
    I wonder how an muslim working for I don't know St. Louis bread Company, or Deals would have to deal with thier religious obligations,
    Do those stores allow them to simply stop their work and do what ever ritual is required? If the parents are not then I see no reason for the children to be granted the break.
    I think there is too much I do not know.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:41 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • yes. its a tough one for sure- in some ways I feel like these are kids and as I teacher I always side with kids and their needs- 8 minutes in the scheme of things is not a big deal- I have kids that fake a bathroom break longer than that-and on that note- I am one of those people that allow kids to use the bathroom as many times as needed- usually with an "are you sure because this is the 3rd time in an hour" type thing-I guess I just don't have a good answer on this one-

    Answer by soyousay at 7:50 AM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • this is tough...i totally get why Muslim students deserve the time as needed. and as a soon to be teacher i get the "good grades" part cause you dont want lazy students trying to get outta class when they obviously need class instruction.

    but on the other hand, its not fair to the other students who may want to pray in a quiet space or cant focus their prayers b/c the class is loud, etc. maybe the school could create a "meditation space" that allows good students to take a much earned spiritual break? or they could make it a class that students with good grades could take with the class period that falls around the prayer an elective. i dunno this is complicated.

    Answer by okmanders at 2:09 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

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