1988 General Resolution

Because Unitarian Universalists have historically affirmed the value of public education in a pluralistic society; and

Because we believe that free inquiry strengthens minds in the individual search for knowledge; and

WHEREAS, recent history shows a continuing series of attacks on access to information and ideas in the classroom as well as attempts to promote sectarian ideology in public education at national, state, provincial, and school-district levels; and

strategies are being pursued to eliminate from public school curricula any material considered by some parents to be offensive to their own religious beliefs; and

WHEREAS, a broad-based, multicultural public school system requires that teaching instruments, including textbooks, film, video, speakers, and student publications exhibit a varied and open exposition of historical, scientific, and cultural fact;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Unitarian Universalist Association, mindful of the roles played by religious movements throughout our history, encourages its members to affirm that educational excellence rather than the promotion of sectarian ideology is the proper business of public education and calls upon congregations and individual members:

  1. To educate themselves and the public on censorship and sectarian interference in education;
  2. To organize groups to monitor religious intrusions affecting public schools, especially curricula and educational materials;
  3. To encourage teachers, parents, students, librarians, and other school officials and community residents to remain vigilant in the fact of censorship challenges;
  4. To advocate laws, regulations, and policies in educational, legislative, and judicial arenas ensuring freedom from sectarian based censorship of curriculum and extra-curricular activities, which include student publications;
  5. To oppose vigorously efforts to make public education conform to any group's sectarian beliefs; and
  6. To support the development of curricula designed to teach the historic and cultural influence of religious movements and religious motivation while excluding the teaching of specific sectarian doctrine.

For more information contact socialjustice@uua.org.

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