Originally created 08/15/98

Rips proponents of Released Time 081598 - The Augusta Chronicle

This past Sunday there was yet another letter about trying to get some sort of "religious education" into the school system. In the past, adult groups wanted "religion in the classroom" during school hours or "prayer around the flagpole" before classes began.

Now there is a new one called "Released Time Education," wherein the students gather on the school campus. They are then "transported off" campus to some location for religious instruction (during regular school hours).

This new "Released Time" program will deprive the students of needed classroom instruction in the normal "Readin', 'Ritin' and 'Rithmetic." Surely these students need all the classroom instruction they can get. (South Carolina Ranks 48 to 49th of 50 in education in the United States).

The reason stated for these "religious classes" is to inculcate the students in "behavior modification" (violence, drug use, teen-pregnancy, suicide). This type of behavior should already have been accomplished in the home (where the parents teach them) or at a regular religious "structured environment" in church or Sunday school. Then the regular classroom teachers would only have to help "guide" and, from time to time, correct this "behavior modification."

If these adult groups are so fearful that they are not doing enough "behavior modification" outside of the public school system, then why don't they get together and ask their church officials to open the churches, cathedrals, or synagogues?

This could be done before school opens for the day, or after school closes for the day, or on weekends, so that these students can get the "tools" they need to truly succeed. ...

Carl Champlin, Aiken

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