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Schools should try to promote greater understanding and tolerance among students of different traditions by taking care to adhere to the First Amendment’s prohibition against school-sponsored endorsement or promotion of religious beliefs of any kind. By following this American tradition, our schools can best celebrate the religious freedom upon which our nation was founded.
Recognition of and information about holidays may focus on how and when they are celebrated, their origins, histories, and generally agreed-upon meanings. If the approach is objective and sensitive, neither promoting nor inhibiting religion, this study can foster understanding and mutual respect for differences in beliefs. Teachers will want to avoid asking students to explain their beliefs and customs. An offer to do so should be treated with courtesy and accepted or rejected depending upon the educational relevancy. Teachers may not use the study of religious holidays as an opportunity to proselytize or to inject personal religious beliefs into the discussions. Teachers can avoid this by teaching through attribution, i.e., by reporting that “some Buddhists believe...”
Ideals that are shared by many cultures (i.e., peace, brotherhood, kindness, sharing) are suggested themes that could be used to draw together programs of many traditions.
However, activities and decorations involving secular holidays that are closely associated with religious holidays must be appropriately limited to ensure the activities and decorations do not interfere with teaching the required curriculum (i.e., Halloween, Christmas, etc).
Available positions also are posted on a bulletin board outside the Human Resource Services Office at the Central Administration Building (510 W. Mercer St.).
Phone: (512) 858-3074Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. M-F during the school year, 7:45 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. M-TH during June and July.
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