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October 29, 2015

Aleigha Hopkins
Educational Issues Reflection: Religion in Schools
Due to my pre-University education in Catholic schools, religion in schools is a topic that
I can relate to. I was raised in a Catholic household, and therefore incorporating religion
(Catholic religion) into my schooling was not much of a stretch for me. I remember being in
third grade before I realized that religious differences did exist in my classroom. One of my best
friends revealed to me that she and her family were not Catholic, and that she simply attended
this school because it was closest to her home. Furthermore, we had a new student come into our
class during this year who was Islamic. There was very little mention made of his religion, and
when he was participating in Ramadan or had to pray during school hours, his absence was not
explained or touched on. Additionally, both he and my non-Catholic friend were expected to
participate in religion classes with everyone else.
It has been quite a while since I have been in primary/secondary school, and my religious
beliefs have certainly wavered since then. However, I can still appreciate the lessons I learned
from being in a Catholic school. These lessons had very little to do with Biblical stories and
verses. Instead, what I learned from my religion lessons was how to be a good person. More
than any particular religious notion, I took away from religion class the importance of being a
moral, kind, and ethical person. Throughout my religious education classes, universal lessons of
reciprocity, forgiveness, and charity were drilled into me. We were encouraged to volunteer in
our communities, be sympathetic with other peoples situations, and give kindness in return for
hostile or harsh words. I believe that these lessons were of the utmost importance in my
education. While some of these values were touched on in other classes, core classes such as

math and science have too much material to focus on such lofty lessons. I believe that religion
class was a wonderful time us to focus on such issues and form us into better people, not just
high achieving students.
With that being said, I do believe that having religion-type classes in schools is
important. However, I do understand that there are definite shortcomings in how religion is
presented in schools nowadays. Religious tolerance is not necessarily a cornerstone of religious
education, and opposing religious views can spark heated debates- debates that are not fostered
in an accepting and encouraging environment. I believe that all schools should set aside time to
educate their students on how to be respectable and contributing community members. Whether
this is through a religion class, or some other medium, such lessons are indispensable in the real
world. I also believe that a religion class should be presented in an objective and unbiased
manner. Learning about world religions, in my opinion, should be mandatory in all schools. I
believe that this would result in a more accepting and understanding population. Overall, I
believe that religion is quite engrained in our societies. Therefore, incorporating religious
education into a childs schooling is relevant and important. However, I believe that focusing on
universal truths of compassion and leadership should be the main objective of such classes, and
that a holistic view of world religions should be a mandatory part of the curriculum.