In response to Michael W. Dunegan’s Feb. 23 letter regarding school shootings and school prayer:
Children learn respect from the adults around them, not from school prayers. If their role models show true respect for the rules of law and for people with different opinions or of different races, nationalities or religions, that child will learn respect. School prayer in public schools is unconstitutional. Not because progressives wanted that, but because of the First Amendment.
More than 70 years ago, I was a Protestant child attending Boston public schools. Every morning, I listened to the Catholic version of the Lord’s Prayer. I just mumbled what I had learned in Sunday school and went on with the day until I started girl’s Latin school in the seventh grade. For the first time, there were Jewish girls in my classes. One morning, as we stood for the prayer, one girl quietly swore. At that moment, I realized how wrong it was to have prayer in school, and I have opposed it ever since.
Children can pray before they leave home, on their way to school or quietly at their desks. There should not be organized prayers in public schools. We are too diverse a nation for that.