Beware! On the August 7th ballot will be a legislatively referred constitutional amendment which is identified officially as
Shall the Missouri Constitution to amended to ensure:
That the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs shall not be infringed;
That school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in schools;
That all public schools shall display the Bill of Right of the U. S. Government.
Embedded within the ballot language is a statement that "no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs". This if passed will produce a nightmare for teachers and administrators. As a classroom teacher I have in the past had students tell me that doing homework was against their religion. What kind of paperwork nightmare would we be imposing on an already pressed administration to deal with inappropriate issues as well as real ones that would arise. There is no age limit indicated so this can be from elementary through college educational institutions.
It is the responsibility of the schools to educate students. The potential disruption that this could produce makes that job even more difficult. It is not the responsibility of the schools to teach for or against religious practices but to inform students and to help them understand the world that they live in. As a science teacher and a Christian I feel it is essential that students understand the world and how it works, how to think, and solve problems. They cannot do that if they do not have adequate information.
I strongly urge citizens of Missouri to read the full amendment before voting in the August 7th election. This can be found at http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2012ball....
Thank you for your time.
Melody F. Green
Concerned Parent/ Christian
Area 1 Director, Science Teachers of Missouri