Why Schools Should Teach About All Cultures and Religions

December 31, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 31, 2000, in the Los Angeles Times , a professor of human development at Cal State offered a solution to the conflict that arose at Mariners Elementary School in Newport Beach when "a local rabbi and some of his congregation demanded the dismantling of holiday lights" put up at the school. The rabbi "called the act 'provocative,' saying it 'disfranchised' non-Christian students." At the same time, however, a Jewish mother "has been free to address classrooms of students about Hanukkah." The author suggests that, to resolve conflicts such as these, "public schools would do well to embrace the idea of teaching children about all the world's people and their value systems." This would promote "inclusiveness and mutual respect" and raise Americans who are no longer "woefully ignorant of the languages and cultures of nations we have to deal with."