Plan for Introduction of Religious Values in N.Y. Schools Withdrawn

The proposed policy statement of the Board of Education of New York City on “Moral and Spiritual Values and the Schools” has been withdrawn because of opposition and has been sent back to the Board of Superintendents, which drafted the original statement, for reworking in consultation with the representatives of the three major faiths. The policy statement has opposed by the New York Board of Rabbis and by some Protestant groups and was approved by other Protestant groups and the Catholic Church.

The Board of Rabbis, which opposed the policy as one which would bring religious education into the public schools is pledged to do everything in its power “to find some common ground with our religious colleagues,” according to Rabbi Arthur Gilbert, member of a Board of Rabbis committee set up to fight the original policy. He noted that the Board would continue to resist the teaching of spiritual and moral values by reference to theological sanction, asserting this would open the door to possible religious sectarianism and intra-communal disputes and friction.

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