Pledging allegiance, faith-based anti-bullying, challenged books, failing exams, and news literacy: Required Readings 9.9.14
To raise awareness about church-state separation, the American Humanist Association has launched a national campaign to encourage people—including public school students—to sit out the Pledge of Allegiance until the phrase “under God” is removed from it. Campaign materials include information about how parents can talk to children about the issue and mechanisms for reporting harassment.
Meanwhile, a plaintiff in an early case regarding the Pledge and religious freedom died last month. Lillian Gobitas was a 12-year-old Jehovah’s Witness in 1935 when she and her brother refused to say the Pledge in their Pennsylvania school.
One Idaho school district will no longer be showing students an anti-bullying video produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after the Freedom From Religion Foundation raised concerns about dialogue such as “allowing us to see others the way our Heavenly Father sees us, because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive; remember in the end it is the merciful who obtain mercy.”
In the wake of a dust-up over a coming-of-age novel involving a teenage lesbian, one author asks “Who Should Decide What High School Students Are Allowed to Read?”
And another author answers the question: “Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing.”
But are any of these articles trustworthy? That’s where education in news literacy and critical analysis comes into play.
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Image: Professor Ann Henderson-Sellers is just one of 97 scientists participating in the 97 Hours of Consensus (regarding climate change) project at the Skeptical Science website. Graphic by Skeptical Science is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.skepticalscience.com.