Religion and family values will always be a controversial topic. The range of religious and cultural backgrounds students come from is huge. They are personal morals that affect the way families carry out their lives. There is bound to be conflict and that can be seen in regards to religion in school. McConnell (1995) argues that students should have the right to worship and pray in school. The First Amendment guarantees their right to practice religion in school and their freedom of religion has transformed to freedom from religion. Gaylor (1995) says religious actions were never banned from the schools but rather not institutionally taught. Religion is a private affair and all students have the right to hold their own values but forcing religion on students is not the correct method. Neutrality is key so all students feel welcome and accepted.
Both authors bring up important concepts on this controversial topic. I would side more with Gaylor’s argument of being accepting of all religions without tying them in to educational material. When prayer becomes involved into public education, separation and conflict . “Religion is private, and schools are public, so it is appropriate that the two should not mix. To introduce religion in our public schools builds walls between children who may not have been aware . . . “ (Gaylor, 1995) We want to keep kids on the same level so everyone has a right to learn. Accepting differences is crucial in schools so all feel welcome. We still should be careful around family values of religion so not to divide our students based on their beliefs.
Gaylor, A. L. (1995). “The Case Against School Prayer.” The Freedom from Religious Education Inc.
Digital Citizenship is important for students so they understand proper and appropriate behavior with technology and in online settings. Students are using technology usually on a daily basis and the same morals and values from offline interactions apply. At times it can be difficult for adults and teachers to track and monitor online activity so reinforcing these concepts will encourage digital etiquette. Having a poster for students to reference is a great way to get them thinking about appropriate use with technology. It also gives parents and families great ideas to practice at home. The home school connection is important to remain consistent.
Students should also be aware of safe practices with digital resources and tools such as up to date virus protection. There are a lot of personal information and documents we save on our computers so making sure we are protecting ourselves with current and effective software is needed. Physical safety is also good to be aware of such as eye safety and proper posture when using devices. It is easy to create bad habits and spend a long amount of time on our computers. Making sure we are using safe practices and taking breaks in between longer assignments will allow our students to decrease injury as digital citizens.