Religious Schools V. Children's Rights

reviewed by Pamela Winnick - 2003

coverTitle: Religious Schools V. Children's Rights
Author(s): James G. Dwyer
Publisher: Cornell University Press, Ithaca
ISBN: 0801434262, Pages: 256, Year: 1998
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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.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 1, 2003, p. 102-105 ID Number: 10944, Date Accessed: 9/21/2020 11:31:27 AM

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