Hundreds of parents enroll their children in small religious schools in order to “separate their children from the bad crowd” or “to ensure their children aren’t exposed to corruption.” Personally, a school with a small, exclusive and perfectly homogenous makeup restricts a student’s voice and thinking skills in today’s world. As a former Catholic school, I clearly understand the method of teaching and the lack of exposure that my thirty student class and I experienced.
Religion and education should be dichotomized; they are two interrelated yet unique moral aspects. By mixing religious studies with history, literature and sciences, a certain “watering down” of content and ideas occurs. In the liberal arts classes, particular views on society will be blocked simply because it disobeys the rules of the local parish. Literary classes will ban any novel or piece of literature containing even the slightest inappropriate word. Science classes prevent children from scientifically testing or studying ideas that may disobey the religious point of view regarding evolution. Computer laboratories will have more web pages and opinionated spaces blocked than sites that they will have readily available.
On top of that, all religious schools demand a different religious class to be incorporated into a schedule, blocking the student from expanding his or her interests and looking into new subjects. Although teaching religious material each year can aid the student in expanding his or her beliefs and faith, the classes are typically very close-minded and no new or modern ideas are welcome.
I vividly remember having my religion teacher asking us to bring in topics for our “discussion day.” One girl in my class decided to speak up about her opinion on abortion; a few moments later, this student found herself in the principle’s office because her pro-abortion ideals disobeyed the church’s.
Overall, small, private schools tend to ban children and adolescents from expanding their thinking and expressing commonly controversial issues. Although the plight of dealing with restriction of controversial speech ends for most of these students at the termination of high school, quite often their minds are embedded with thoughts that do not clearly represent our entire globe. If religious views didn’t stand as a barrier, the students could’ve have been exposed to social and biological issues that their future college peers will have been taught in their secular schools. In today’s world it is increasingly important to keep an open perspective and a tolerating point of view; with a blurry vision of the world outside of one’s religious community, growth of kindness and acceptance will not occur. For this reason, I am against the incorporation of religious studies into core curriculum education.