Religious Schools V. Children's Rightsreviewed by Pamela Winnick - 2003
With the U.S. Supreme Court likely to uphold vouchers, the role
played by religious schools will be more important than ever. Since
school choice results in more children attending religious schools
--especially Catholic schools -- we need much more data comparing
life in public schools vs. life in religious schools.
Unfortunately, Religious Schools v. Children's Rights by
law professor James G. Dwyer fails to accomplish this much-needed
task. Instead he produces lawyerly sound and fury, bashing
religious education as a violation of children's rights, never once
considering how much better off some children would be--mainly
those trapped in failing inner-city schools--were they to have
greater access to religious schools. (Though, oddly enough, Dwyer
says he's not opposed to school choice.)
" [A] number of features of Fundamentalist and Catholic
Schools," Dwyer writes, "violate basic principles of justice.
Excessive restrictions on children's physical and intellectual
freedom violate the equal liberty principle, as does a failure to
foster in students a capacity for rational deliberation on
political issues" (p. 174).
The... (preview truncated at 150 words.) Title:
Religious Schools V. Children's RightsAuthor(s):
James G. Dwyer
Cornell University Press, IthacaISBN:
1998Search for book at Amazon.com
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- Pamela Winnick
PAMELA R. WINNICK is a reporter at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and an attorney admitted to practice law in the state of New York. She is currently at work on a book about the controversy over the teaching of evolution in public schools and has written extensively on public education in Pennsylvania.