The Moment of Silence in Hillsboro Schools: A Positive and Constructive Time

Essay by rebecca082393High School, 10th gradeA+, September 2009

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Many schools have a Moment of Silence every morning to start the school day. Hillsboro City Schools would benefit from a Moment of Silence. There are many benefits and positive aspects of this use of time. Students learn religious tolerance and morals that parents might not be able to teach them. Our first amendment rights guarantee religious freedom, therefore allowing us to have a Moment of Silence. This does not conflict with the separation of church and state. This moment, held at numerous events and assemblies of the masses, is here to respect those who have died. These are a few reasons why we need a Moment of Silence for our school system.

Students learn morals and religious tolerance by this short moment of contemplation, meditation, prayer, or reflection. They learn to respect religions other than their own. This moment shows that the school authority figures respect students, and teachers, and that they have spiritual or religious aspects of their lives.

It would bring a great moral to our school system. Some think that this is a waste of time, about three hours a year, but even greater time is taken for better reasons: to deal with troublesome students, to fulfill pointless standards, or state requirements.

Our first amendment rights allow us to follow the religion of our choice. During the Moment of Silence, students may contemplate, meditate, pray, or reflect. This is separate from the rule about the separation of church and state, as this is a time to do how they wish spiritually or religiously, and is not an organized prayer. I think that they should allow us to form groups and pray together during this time. This is already legal in seventeen states, including Ohio, allowed because it is a minor and non-intrusive accommodation of religion.

There are many ways to recognize and respect the dead. The Moment of Silence is a wonderful way to do so. It is a similar act to flying the American flag at half-mast. Since the tragedy of September 11 in 2001, many schools or functions, including ours, have a Moment of Silence to honor those who gave their lives for our freedom, including our freedom of religion. During that moment of silence, you are asked to remove your hat and bow your head for those who have died. This is a non-intrusive, yet respectful, way to remember our deceased.

In conclusion, I believe that Hillsboro City Schools should have a Moment of Silence every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance is recited. Students learn to respect the deceased, other religions and spiritualities of their peers and authority figures. This moment is a time to contemplate, meditate, pray, or reflect before beginning the school day. The seventeen states where this law is practiced have a decrease in violence since this law has come into effect, while the other thirty-three states have seen an increase in violence. I am asking our school system for a time for students to think about the moral values of freedom that make America unique. This is an opportune moment to do so, as our minds are preparing for the strenuous day ahead. The Moment of Silence, in my opinion, will only bring positive effects on the students and staff members of Hillsboro City Schools, but improves our community.

INTERNETAmerican Civil Liberties Union. "Constitutional Amendment on School Prayer or Moment of Silence." 24 September 2008 .

Masters, Brooke A. "Va. Minute of Silence in Schools is Upheld; Federal Judges Rule Law is Not Unconstitutional." 24 September 2008 "Moment of Silence for New York's Schools." 26 September 2008U. S. Department of Education. "Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools." 30 September 2008