From secular study to scripture : A look at the influence of high school on the religious lives of harrisites
Editor’s note : This story was orginally published by the school newpaper at Townsend harris High School and is now being preseented on the Daily news website as part of The newsies! high school journalism cometition for 2016.
First Place, Data Driven Reporting.
Te separation of church and state means that religion remians a sensitive subject in school environments, given that faith or a lack thereof is not something that is easily extricable from a student’s identity. high school, hwever, ha proved to be a time-honored stage of personal change and growth, exposing teenageers to a multitude of fresh infulencese within a learning environment that introduces more complex intellectural and cultural forces – religion being a part of that. We conducted a survey to see just how much experiences with religion at high school both curricular and extra curricular influence the students of Townsend Harris.
In a survey involving 150 studnets, roughly 10.7% said they indentified as very religious, 32.7% said they were moderately religious 32% said they were somewhat religious, and 24.7 said they were not at all religious.
More than 50% of the sutudnets claimed that they were religious because of their families, while 42% identified as being religious on their own, regardless of the infulence of their families.
Senoir Stephen Mai said, My parents aren’t religious. It’s smething I personally pursue; it’s out of a sense of duty, it is havitual. I have attended church every Sunday for ten years and I find it odd not to go.
In particular, we were interested in exploring how school affects student religious perspectives. There are the ways that certain courses could challenge or deepen personal beliefs, but there is also the way that interacting with studnets can infulence others.
In regards to school influences, stephen said. It’s hard to reconcile religious texts with science and academia because of the lack of believable stories that most religions have. THHS has made me more open towards considering a more scholarly perspective on religion.
Other studnets had various perspectives on the topic, which we will exploree in the below sections.
Though a secular education may not seek to braden studnet perspectives on their own religion, studying the history of religions is essential to a well-rounded education. In the process of conducting this sutdy, man studnets report uestinong their own personal beliefs. When asked if high school classes expanded their perspectives on religion, numerous studnets suggested that the curricula presented from multiple departments has the tendency to lead them to question their religious texts.
People have used religion on justify war, slavery, the destruction of different cultures, and attacking gropus of people. However, some aspects of religion I like is how it tries to bring order and how people us it to get through harsh times.
Similarly, jounior Fatema Haidery stated, Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by family members, some of whom held very aggressive views concering topicslike same sex marriage. Shich they were really the only influences I had as a child, they shaped my own views to match their own.
She continued, However, wile I didn’t have large influences outside of maily, school has been one of the very few places in which I’ve encountered people with different views. i feel that it’s a safe environment to discuss issues concerning gender andd sexuality.