A new law has been passed in Oregon- the Oregon Workplace Religious Freedom Act- that says: “No teacher in any public school shall wear any religious dress while engaged in the performance of duties as a teacher. A school district, education service district or public charter school does not commit an unlawful employment practice under ORS chapter 659A by reason of prohibiting a teacher from wearing religious dress while engaged in the performance of duties as a teacher.“
Oregon teachers are not allowed to wear religious clothing in classrooms- what do you think of this? It’s one of only two states that has this law. I’m trying to figure out how I feel about this. Just because I don’t believe in or practice the same religion as some, is it fair that we prohibit them to practice what they believe? Is this not a free country?
I’m trying to picture this as if I had children in the public schools with their teacher wearing a turban or other piece of clothing that represents their religion. I want my children to know the different kinds of people in the world. I imagine this would bring up questions and I’d be happy to explain the different types of religions to my children. I feel like in order to bring up well rounded individuals in this society, its essential to allow children to see, hear, feel,learn, and be exposed to all sorts of people,experiences, things, and even religious clothing. Then, I feel, it’s our job as parents to show them and teach them the right way.
If the teacher is not teaching their religion, then what’s the problem?
Then again, would a child look up to their teacher out of respect and think that their religion is right because they are a teacher?
So, then, are we allowed to wear shirts with the words JESUS on them? Or a necklace with a cross on it? Where do we draw the line? What’s the difference between a teacher wearing a headscarf and a teacher wearing a cross necklace? Are both not articles or accessories of clothing that show ones belief?
I can go both ways on this and honestly, I’m not concrete in how I feel about it. This topic can probably become quite controversial, which is fine, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
What do you think?