No to LifeWise

Dear Editor,

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads, in part: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”… In other words there will be a “Separation of Church and State,” in the United States.

An organization named the LifeWise Academy, trying to make an end run around our First Amendment freedoms about religion, claims: “Now more than ever, schools must address character and mental health on top of providing academic instruction. LifeWise Academy comes alongside administrators and teachers as a supportive ally in the fight for better character development, mental health and academic achievement.”

Wow, what presumption?

LifeWise wants us to believe their pious beliefs trumps our public schools’ professionalism. Our teachers and administrators have to have four years, or more, degrees in Education, spend months in teaching training, undergo background checks and fingerprinting, etc.

If pushing religious dogma to 7-year-olds, of a variety of faiths, builds better character than a dedicated teacher can, you could fool me.

What about the stigma of the kids who are left out of the LifeWise character building program for whatever reason? For example, what about special ed kids or parents’ kids opposed to this program?

History tells us that Hitler’s youth programs had the goal of “character building.”

Unqualified people should never assume to be better qualified than mental health professionals. In dealing with mental health leave that one-on-one treatment to professional psychiatrists and psychologists or special ed teachers.

I believe your academic achievement — a total role not just a supportive role — will occur when you have taken over the schools completely, not just the second grade.

The Establishment Clause means that schools cannot officially establish religion or even non religion (such as atheism).

I urge the St. Clairsville Schools to say: No, thank you to the LifeWise Academy’s proposal.

Bill Bryant

St. Clairsville


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