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Sept. 29, 2000

Christian Teachers, Public Schools
 

Religion and public schools have been often controversial partners in recent years in the U.S.

On the one hand the Supreme Court has ruled that public prayer before a high school football game is not allowable. On the other the U.S House of Representatives voted to post the 10 Commandments in public school classrooms.

These sorts of issues will be at the center of a public lecture on Monday, October 16 at Calvin College, to be held from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Chapel.

Gloria Goris Stronks (pictured), a professor of education at Calvin, will join her daughter, Julia Stronks, an attorney and professor who now lives in Washington state, for a talk titled simply "Christian Teachers in Public Schools," also the title of a 1999 book that the mother-daughter team penned together.

Together the two will cover such contentious issues as:

  • may students evangelize on school property
  • may religion ever be taught in a public school classroom
  • what are ways Christian parents can have concerns addressed by school staff
  • can teachers plan lessons from a faith perspective while still honoring the law

Gloria Goris Stronks is well equipped to speak about religion and education from an educator's point of view. She has taught in both public and Christian schools and has written several books that examine teaching from a faith perspective.

Julia Stronks has practiced law for many years and currently writes on issues of faith and public policy as well as working as a mediator for conflicts that arise in faith communities.

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Contact Phil de Haan.