Quick: What Are These Kids Doing? November 5, 2007

Quick: What Are These Kids Doing?


If you said “praying in Sunday School,” you lose.

They’re observing the mandatory moment of silence in an Illinois middle school.

And just for the sake of irony, #87 on the Chicago Bears is a player named Muhammad.

(via Unscrewing the Inscrutable)

[tags]atheist, atheism, prayer, public school[/tags]

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mriana

    I said praying in school. I honestly don’t think that is a moment of silence. Looks like they are at school and praying to me.

  • Siamang

    “Quick: What are these kids doing?”

    Making certain politicians very popular.

  • One of them looks like she’s just stretching.

  • They should take the next logical step: require five moments of silence every day, making sure the direction of Mecca is clearly indicated in all classrooms. “It’s the kids’ choice” what to do with that opportunity – the school clearly doesn’t have anything specific in mind, even though the word “prayer” is in the name of the bill.

    I wonder what the penalty is for making noise during the Moment, and whether it can be enforced. It would be interesting to test it by loudly reciting a prayer.

  • THz

    Would it not be better to test it by being patriotic and cite the original (without “under god”) American pledge of allegiance?

  • Kate

    Weird…we never had to stand and bow our heads. Just as long as we didn’t talk for the 30 seconds or so, we were golden.

    I actually (and don’t hate me) kinda liked it. It was thirty seconds to take a deep breath and ready myself for the day ahead (mainly in high school when stuff was AP-crazy). Maybe it shouldn’t have been structured, but it was a nice way to remind me to just CHILL for a brief moment. I never prayed, and never saw anyone else “visibly” pray.

  • Mriana

    Honestly, someone could be praying allowed and my mind would be on everything else but what they are saying. Still, it is a lost opportunity for learning. Not that a deep breath is not important. That is more beneficial and more helpful toward learning than praying.

  • Why are they all bowing their heads and looking at the ground? I’d probably stretch my arms out and exchange some smiles with some friends. Then I’d spend the rest of the time trying to contain a snicker.

    Come to think of it, that doesn’t sound all too bad. I mean, it’s rather silly to mandate it across the state, and the religious motivations are irritating, but it’s not like the end of the world or anything.

  • Hemant,

    My roommates and I got into a fairly heated debate about a hypothetical similar to that law. Should it be legal for schools to have a moment of silence if a classmate dies?

    I tried to argue there were more legal, less religiously ambiguous ways of grieving in the schools.

    My roomates thought moments of silence for grieving had a legitimate secular purpose, and that in this instance if a kid decides to pray during the silent moment it is the best way for him to cope.


  • Richard Wade

    The kids look like their dad is yelling at them, “DON’T YOU EVER, EVER USE MY TOOTHBRUSH TO BRUSH THE DOG’S TEETH AGAIN!!”

    Then again, in some sects that could be a lot like the experience of praying.

  • They’re probably in the middle or not being too happy of being forced up to stand for a minute.

  • jedipunk

    I thought another contest was coming for a second.

  • Mriana

    They don’t look very happy, do they, Richard? Poor kids.

  • stogoe

    They look bored out of their minds. “Stand up, eyes closed…why are we doing this again? Man, I’m tired. If I yawned, would Ms. Hoover yell at me? Great, now I gotta yawn.”

  • I teach fifth grade in a public elementary school in Michigan. I asked my students what they think they’re supposed to do when the principal calls for a “moment of silence” and they all agreed: you pray.
    I gave them some other ideas.

  • Hey! This isn’t fair! I want equal time!

    I say we should have a mandatory moment of screaming, and a mandatory moment of muffled conversation, and a mandatory moment of tapping our toes, and a mandatory moment of counting by powers of six!

    Idiots. -_-

  • Richard Wade

    Were you taking a chance by giving the students some other ideas?

  • I don’t think so, and I hope not! I just said some people use that time for reflection on a person’s life, or to recall good memories they have. I clarified that a moment of silence does not require or exclude prayer. I know to step lightly in these contexts.

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