Junior High Civics and the Abortion Debate
My teenage son’s adventures in junior high school continued this week with his 9th grade civics class once again the center of his attention. In the fall, his teacher (who he likes personally very much) took time to share her views on the issue of gay rights. Check out my blog post from October for that discussion. This week the topic of abortion was brought up for debate in class. The teacher allowed the students to divide based on their current view of abortion. She gave three options: pro-life, pro-choice, moderate pro-choice (meaning pro abortion in certain circumstances).
According to my son, Garrett, the class was mostly an even split between pro life and moderates. My son was the spokesperson for the pro-life group as the students then debated with the teacher moderating to make sure things did not get out of hand. As the debate evolved, his teacher explained her own position as the moderate pro-choice position and she began to push back on my son’s views. As part of the debate, she told the students that religion could not be used to defend their position and that her classroom was a religion free zone. Not to be deterred, Garrett argued his pro-life position from a moral point of view.
Needless to I am very proud of my son for his bold stance and for readily stepping up to be vocal about his pro-life position. His teacher challenged him on many fronts and he answered her in turn with sound reasoning.
But one thing that has been nagging me in my mind is the prohibition of religion into the argument in a civics class. The teacher has the right to run the class how she wants and I am certain that our culture now breeds paranoia when it comes to all things religious in the public schools BUT isn’t the purpose of civics to teach how our government works?
Allow me to quote from one of our founding documents called the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Do we still teach the Declaration of Independence in junior high civics?
Doesn’t this Declaration talk about our CREATOR and that He has endowed us ALL with the right to LIFE?
So I ask: How in a civics class can you keep God out of the abortion debate?
To do so seems to me to be… well, un-civically minded.