Employee Religious Expression
1) Go to the following website that is maintained by the Texas Association of School Boards.
URL (website address): https://www.tasb.org/Services/Legal-Services/TASB-School-Law-eSource/Community/Religion-in-the-Public-Schools.aspx
Web Link: Tx Ass’n of School Boards (TASB) Resource: Religion in the Public Schools
2) On this web page, you will find seven (7) resources (articles) that are presented by TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) Legal Services:
These articles/documents relate to issues, questions, and legal parameters about:
A) Religion in the Public Schools (this is an overview of the topic);
B) Student Religious Expression;
C) Employee Religious Expression;
D) Prayer at Board Meetings;
E) Teaching about Religion in Public Schools;
F) Student Speakers at School Events; and,
G) Employee and Student Legal Issues Related to the Holiday Season.
3) Select ONE of the six articles that are available, and read all of that one article that you have selected.
4) After reading the one article that you selected, answer the four questions listed below that follow the instructions. Assignment Guidelines/Instructions:
· Answer each question in paragraph form, using complete sentences. There will be four (4) full length paragraphs in your Assignment Post.
· Each paragraph should contain at least SIX (6) full-length sentences, and most will probably be longer than that.
· You will be referring to this one document available on the website that I provided above, so it is NOT necessary to have additional sources, and you do NOT need to include APA Writing Style citations, or references.
· VERY IMPORTANT: At the top of your assignment, type the name of the document/article to which you are responding in your assignment.
· For each of your four responses, provide an in-depth response of one paragraph. You may write more than one paragraph for each response, but do not write less than one paragraph. For this assignment, a paragraph should be at least 6 full-length sentences in length. Do not write short, choppy sentences in an effort to just meet the length requirements. Each paragraph deserves to have an in-depth discussion, so do not “just the minimum to get by”.
· Please triple space between each paragraph so that it is clear when one paragraph ends and the next begins. Use size 3 (12 pt) font for this assignment.
· It is okay to use first person as you write (using “I”); however, don’t over-do this. You want to have responses that are more than just opinion–you want to include substantive information, using the document itself as your source, to substantiate whatever you write.
· Do NOT include any direct quotations in your paragraphs. Instead, always put the information into your own words.
· REMEMBER: Your reader (your instructor) is not so much interested in your personal opinions here, as she is interested in seeing you demonstrate your thorough understanding of the assigned document
· Label each question/paragraph/section of your essay with the corresponding question number. Do not write out the question itself. Instead, identify each of your four responses with “1”, “2”, “3”, and “4”.
Four Assignment Questions:
1. As you read the document that you selected from the TASB "Religion in Public Schools" web page , what emotions and feelings did you have as you read the material? Describe the emotions, but also discuss what specific parts of the document caused those specific emotions. It's fine to use page numbers to refer to specific aspects of the document. Remember that emotions can run the spectrum from positive ones such as "happy", "joy", "relieved", "loving", "secure", "enthusiastic", to more negative ones such as "sad", "anxious", "angry", "rejected", "lonely", etc. 2. Describe something from the document that you learned that was new information for you. Was this new information "surprising" to you, and if so, in what way was it surprising? Describe the new information, and then, very importantly, speculate on why you think you did not know this information before reading this document. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing it prior to reading the document! That's the purpose of the assignment...to learn new things! Just write a little about why it might be that you didn't know this information before now. It's always interesting to reflect upon how we learn new things, and how new information comes to us :) 3. (This paragraph should be quite lengthy, since you are going to be responding to several different prompts in this one paragraph.) Describe one aspect of the document that, in your opinion, may be controversial. You do not have to reveal your own beliefs or opinions about the issue; however, do discuss an aspect of the document that may be controversial among people in Texas. Why do you think it could be controversial, and what might the nature of that controversy be? Do you think that it would be controversial in another part of the United States? Do you think that it would be controversial in another country? If so, where and why? 4. Describe at least two things that you might do in your own classroom to promote better understanding of your students' religious diversity and beliefs.
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