Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What's so special about Parochial Schools?

On July 1, 1985 (exactly 23 years ago) the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public school teachers may not enter parochial school classrooms, to provide remedial or enrichment instruction. (http://www.scopesys.com/cgi-bin/today2.cgi)

What I got from this ruling is that basically if a public school teacher wants to teach at a private religious school or a private school affiliated with the church, with the hopes of sharing different perspectives and ideas (about religion?) with their students, they cant. From what I understand, they can only teach whatever the church deems appropriate.

I remember during the summer of 2006, I was offered a tutoring position in an urban school district. I went to training for a couple of days, and met many teachers from various backgrounds and districts.Many of those teachers offered me advice for my future classroom, asked where I would like to teach when I was finished and so on and so forth. One teacher was telling me how she taught at a Catholic school and asked me if I would ever be willing to work at a Catholic school. My first thoughts were "Would they hire a Muslim?" And to be honest, I really don't remember giving her a response or asking her whether or not a Catholic School would hire a Muslim.

I would like to think they would. I mean if I were teaching any other subject besides the religious/spiritual aspect, I don't see why they wouldn't hire me.And I know many Islamic schools/educational institutions that have non-Muslim teachers. ( I really dont know why that was my first thought, I guess I was just being ignorant. Or maybe I was worried and thought that the Catholic school may think that I would impose my beliefs on their students.)

Essentially, teachers cannot go into any type of school setting and impose their beliefs on their students. So I guess I'm just kind of confused as to why the U.S Supreme Court would have a ruling specifically for parochial schools.

What do you think?

5 comments:

Snake Charmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Snake Charmer said...

Um could you post another link for the supreme courts decision because it doesn't work and i was trying to google the issue and all i got was the ruling in '97 where they overturned the '85 precedent of not allowing public school teachers into parochial schools: http://www.aclu.org/scotus/1996/
22862prs19970623.html

whitefawn87 said...

it's interesting to think that parochial schools have a special status/set of conditions in the American system of education. I mean honestly though, regardless of parochial schools, in most cases... well teachers are forced to restrain themselves from imposing their beliefs.. why is that? probably so that the system can engrave certain beliefs in the mind of young children...
okay.. enough conspiracies (on my end).

but i guess parochial schools attempt to ensure religious education, through even simple interaction between teachers of general subjects and their students.

Artistic Logic said...

HM... I'm sure catholic schools would hire a Muslim or different faith teacher as long as it wasn't for teaching the religious subjects... I know Catholic schools allow Muslim students to enroll...so I would assume its alright...

frefre said...

so i was doing a bit more reading up on this case and i found out that the supreme court actually overturned its previous decision in 1997. here's one news report that gives more details:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/june97/schools_6-23.html

so i guess the court agrees with you that teaching a general subject in a religious school is not a place in which the teacher's belief system is important