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Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Twelve seniors were presented with awards to recognize their commitment to being outstanding high school athletes (Photo by Zoe Gister).
Redwood senior athletes recognized in new venue celebration
Charlotte LacyMay 30, 2024

On May 20, senior athletes, parents and coaches gathered at Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon to recognize and celebrate the seniors committed...

Smiling and holding their floats, seniors make the most of their lunch.
Seniors stay a-float for senior week
Hannah HerbstMay 29, 2024

On Tuesday, May 28, after a long Memorial Day Weekend and with only twelve more academic days left of school, leadership kicked off Senior...

Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Will ParsonsMay 29, 2024

On May 28, the Giants’ varsity baseball team took on the Carmel Padres in the first Norcal state playoff game in the program’s history. The...

Ignorance breeds violence: we need diverse religious education

The United States has become one of the most diverse countries in the world. Through policies encouraging immigration and plentiful economic opportunities, natives of virtually every country on Earth have found their way to the States. This cultural mixing has brought a plethora of benefits to the country, including scientific discoveries, economic development and a more robust network of allies. Because of the diverse population, American culture also carries a wide range of religions. According to the Pew Research Center, around 70.6% of America is Christian, 1.9% is Jewish, 0.9% is Muslim, 0.7% is Hindu and 0.7% is Buddhist. While the number of non-Christian religious practitioners may seem small, it is essential that we do represent all faiths in our educational systems, regardless of the percentage of the census they compose. Even with the wide variety of religions in the United States, much of the country does not know other faiths outside the teachings of Christ. This can, and has, bred hate and ignorance. To prevent this from happening, students around the country and at Redwood should be given primary religious education to understand better and respect the faiths of their peers.

Illustration by Ava Stephens

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, quoting data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were 2,042 religious hate crimes in the US in 2022 alone. These incidents were separate from any racial or ethnic-based violence and purely based on religion. The FBI states that the most dangerous type of person who commits hate crimes is known as a “crusader”, or someone who is spurred on by religious violence. The root cause of this religious violence is ignorance surrounding other religions. Stereotypes surrounding other religions often perverse the morals of one’s own and create harmful tensions between different faiths. Evidently, education is required to reprimand this growing problem in America. Especially in children, educational programs can help address these stereotypes and ignorance with facts and understanding from a young age.

Language Kids, an educational institution focusing on language development in children, states that cultural education can help foster community, collaboration, and kindness between children and their peers. This same logic could be applied to religion. Students should be taught the most common belief systems in the country in a secular manner. Elementary teachers can host conversations for students to learn about what their peers believe in and understand how and why to respect their differences. 

As for Redwood, a similar protocol would fit perfectly. Redwood has reported numerous anti-Semitic and Islamaphobic incidents in recent years, and compassionate education is desperately needed. Thankfully, Redwood already has a required class where they learn about global topics, world cultures and geography. By adding a unit about religious diversity to the freshman world cultures and geography class, Redwood students would better understand how people with different faiths lead their lives and learn compassion and respect. 

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About the Contributor
Beckett Tudor
Beckett Tudor, Feature Editor
Beckett Tudor is a junior at Redwood High School and a feature editor for the Redwood Bark. He enjoys reading, listening to music and playing with his dog.