My reason for this, again following the party line, is either the individual him/herself or that individual's parents should make decisions about religion. Even in a hypothetical town where everyone is Christian, it is unlikely that all will follow the same type of Christianity.
So, I'm for the removal of prayer from school.
A school in New Brunswick has removed the national anthem from opening announcements.
The principal's explanation doesn't really explain that much:
Whether to sing the national anthem appears to be a delicate matter in the small southern New Brunswick community.
Erik Millett, the school's principal, said he made the decision partly to accommodate parents who didn't want their children taking part in the daily anthem.
"We try to balance the needs of every student, and we want every student to feel welcome in our school," Millett said.
"And part of our school and included in that and if we need to make some accommodations or exceptions then we'll try to put those in place regardless of what the issue is."
At first, I thought the disapproving parents might be from foreign countries and not want their children to sing our anthem. To these, entirely hypothetical, parents, I quickly thought up a counter argument: that religious choice should exist everywhere but nations are not abstract, intangible creations. Well, they are partly, but even more, they are huge block of entirely tangible land. In most places in the world, you can choose your religion, you can even choose your nationality to some extent, but you are standing where you are standing. If you don't want our anthem, you should move.
Man, I've heard the latter bit of that argument stated against me many times (well, against atheists, not me directly that much).
I am confused. If I don't want prayer in school and I have reasons that seem quite solid to me, can I really complain about others not wanting the anthem?
No matter how patriotic you are, you have to admit that the anthem is not exactly part of the core reasons schools exist. O Canada isn't really "readin', ritin', 'rithmatic" (and I hate the way we dumb down the fundamentals of teaching to the three "R"s), is it? If the dissenting parents agreed to allow O Canada to be taught in music class, would that be so bad? Maybe I should have had it in a formal class setting because I now would likely sing it as poorly as Roseanne Barr sang her anthem in 1990 (I really recommend against listening to that clip, but she seemed to remember all the words, which I don't).
I gave a rebuttal to a reason that might not exist but I am having trouble thinking of any other reason and the principal was (admirably?) discrete on the subject. I recall some Jehovah's Witnesses in my elementary school class leaving the room during morning announcements - were they avoiding the national anthem? Are there possible religious reasons? Can I, personally, accept having the anthem taught only in music class and not required of all students (or require students to opt-out)?
I've got some thinking to do.