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What Americans have said

What parents said: Does religious study belong in school?

In addition to the traditional PDK poll of Americans, PDK convened online focus groups with public school parents and public school teachers, thanks to funding support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. These comments are drawn from those two groups.

The history of religion should be taught, the good and the bad. We must be careful not to persuade a person on what are the best religious beliefs to follow. Just stay to the basics on why we as a people have adopted the various teachings on religion and what role it has played throughout the world.

Frederick, 71, Black grandfather and guardian for his grandson in urban Massachusetts

Teaching values can be tricky. What my family values can vary so much from what yours values. But there are some universal values that aren't as tricky that could be taught — how to have compassion for others, for example.

Robin, 49, White mother of high school student in urban Pennsylvania

No religion in school. School should focus on facts not theories.

Kyle, 33, White father of a 1st grader in upstate New York suburb

The Bible has been pushed out of schools and that has created some of the issues we see today.

Elizabeth, 36, White mother of two elementary school students in urban North Carolina

I am not opposed to teaching values, also known as morals, which humans should basically all share. Values include treating everyone as equals and choosing love and acceptance over hate and discrimination.

Lindsey, 41, mixed-race mother of five in Oregon suburb

Christian values should be taught in the schools, but specific doctrines should be left up to the parents.

Tim, 69, White father of a 7th grader in rural Minnesota

I am all for allowing the word God to be in the Pledge of Allegiance and allowing kids to pray in school. However, I don't feel just one religion should be taught mandatory. If students want to learn about religion, that should be their choice not the schools.

Kathryn, 36, White mother of two elementary school students in urban North Carolina

If someone wants their child to be taught the fundamentals of their personal faiths, then send them to a private religious school. Public schools are for everyone, not just one faith.

Deanna, 42, Hispanic mother of two in rural Colorado

I like the idea of Bible studies being offered. If you do that, you have to offer other comparative religion classes. These should be optional, obviously. This is a core value of our country's history religious freedom. It needs to remain one.

Michael, 43, White father of three in suburban Texas

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