Speech by a Teacher Teachers in Public Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Speech by a Teacher

Teachers in public schools are not permitted to invoke specific Biblical theories, parables, or otherwise invoke the word of God -- either denominationally or generally -- in their classes. The constitutionally imposed rule -- separation of church and state -- is widely considered appropriate and important to the American democracy within the secular and legal community.

Moreover, the rules of public schools make it clear that it is psychologically, morally, constitutionally and socially unacceptable to stealthily (or otherwise) attempt to interject God's word or God's prophets' narrative into an educational setting.

But a competent, alert and effective Christian teacher today need not break those rules in the process of presenting information God would approve of. Why? That is because there are values that God has emphasized in the Holy Bible that can be presented to students without ever identifying them as having come from God Himself. Some of the values -- in particular, justice -- will be reviewed in this paper. Justice, after all, is a universal value albeit there are myriad interpretations of justice.

Thesis

The values God offers and advocates through the Bible can be used effectively in today's public classrooms without teachers engaging in unconstitutional behaviors. Indeed, the Word of God can be communicated through examples of his philosophies during social studies classes and classes embracing current events.

Suggested Narrative vis-a-vis a Teacher's Strategies for Sharing God's Values

The prophet Isaiah (Chapter 1, Verse 17) clearly points out what God wants his followers to do, and that is do good deeds, insist on justice, relieve people who are oppressed, be kind to orphans or those without fathers and protect the widow.

Isaiah's passage is straightforward and clear: "Learn to do good; seek justice; correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause" (Open Bible).

There is no need to express any personal feelings about this passage from Isaiah. That is true not just because the prophet is believed to be articulating the views of God. But it is also true because the words can be very seamlessly transitioned into meaning for teachers in the year 2012, and beyond.

Beginning with the second appeal in this passage -- "seek justice" -- a teacher has a number of options open within that concept. This portion of a teacher's moral duty to uphold the Christian values of justice without breaking rules can be implemented in several articles in the media. The White House is an authoritative source for a teacher to use when discussing the recent visit of Burmese Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi; there is no need for a teacher to take sides or promote a personal viewpoint (White House, 2012). President Barack Obama welcomed Aung San Suu Kyi to the White House and "reaffirmed the determination of the United States to support [Kyi's political party's] sustained efforts to promote political and economic reforms and to ensure full protection of the fundamental rights of the Burmese people" (White House).

The teacher in this case approaches the theme of justice (in a social studies class) by asking students to read articles…

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