Originally Posted by midwinter
I disagree. I think that lots of people in the US identify as Christian, but I think that this hardcore political wing is a small but very vocal and very organized minority within that population. And since they're the linchpin of GOP electoral math, they get a great deal of attention.
I really don't care to deal with this again. Something drives the legislators, be it a vocal 10% and passive 40% or any other percentages starting at 80% and working down. They clearly do more than get attention, they get legislation in multiple states, and not just red ones.
Believe me, I understand the problems with siphoning off classtime. But this, again, is not equivalent to prayer.
I'm not sure you see this properly. This is time in which they are allowed time to exercise their rights. The state is not endorsing the activity, it is merely not repressing it. This is why I try to put it in the context of the entire day. You grab children for that long, you are going to run into more personal issues and more rights related to them.
I don't care about whether or not the atheist kid feels put-upon. I care about the state mandating that time be taken out of the day to pray, first, because I don't think my atheist tax dollars should be used to pay for prayer, and second, because it's just stupid. Are kids able to pray silently whenever they want? Yes. Why do we need some kind of special time devoted to it? The answer is simple: Don Wildmon wants it.
I had to look up the reference there. Are kids able to silently pray whenever they want though? I'm not so sure that can always happen unless there are guarantees. I've read dozens of examples of private religious student speech being censured. In the article above, the student doesn't object to the time, she objects to having to watch others pray. How would this change if the prayer were simply allowed silently in the course of regular classroom instruction?
Let me slap that section from the article in here again.. it is most relevant here.Not because the law meant lost learning time in her honors math class -- which would be 15 seconds shorter -- but because "it was clear that we're supposed to sit and pray, or sit and watch other people pray," said Dawn, who is an atheist.
Indeed. And if they're made to wear a scarlet "A," their rights aren't being infringed!
If you care to explain how sitting silently during this time clearly marks them for shame and derision, I would appreciate it because I don't see it. They are not going to somehow become MORE of an atheist during that time. I don't see what it changes.
Depends. Have they actually been asked? Or was this something that got pushed through by that small but vocal minority?
Well someone noted in this thread the overriding of a veto threat by the governor of Ohio for example. (Ronaldo) We know it is pretty evenly split in terms of voting patterns but something well beyond that would be required to override a veto. I don't think that could be accomplished by a vocal minority. It could be different in other states of course.
I'm not sure but I think this might be the article
Ronaldo was referencing. It has the same quote.
Originally Posted by midwinter
Nick can speak to this more than I can, but two things are operating here. 1) Demand for teachers, I imagine, varies wildly from town to town. Here in Utah, we're scrambling for teachers to match a massive population bubble that's about to hit us. 2) Teacher attrition is pretty high. What is it, Nick? 50% of new teachers don't make it past 3 years and 70% don't make it past 5? It's something ridiculously high like that. In short, the choice teachers are more likely to make is to just quit.
Last I read it was 50% attrition at the five year mark. I'll have to add though that it ends up sounding like a pro-voucher argument. Your contention becomes do what the public wants via public schools or quit as choices. The choice becomes even more evident when students don't have the choice of quitting to avoid loss or rights, opportunities or failure to have services provided.