Stop 8th Grade Release Time LDS Seminary.


Stop 8th Grade Release Time LDS Seminary.

This petition made change with 153 supporters!
Petition to
USBoE Public Relations Mark Peterson

Why this petition matters

Started by Carl Johanson

For decades the LDS church in highly Mormon populated areas of the US has worked with schools that teach high school aged kids to allow students to take seminary during the school day. While it is not a requirement in the school's curriculum, it has impacted these teenagers' ability to explore their interests through elective classes in high school. Students who choose not to take seminary during school hours are left with only two other options:

1. Sacrifice much needed sleep in order to take early morning seminary.

2. Face likely shame and ridicule from other Mormon friends by not taking seminary all together.

Both alternatives are damaging and unhealthy to a teenager's physical, emotional, and mental health.

With the youth numbers of the LDS church starting to dwindle, the church is now pushing to start seminary with middle schoolers in 8th grade. It is being piloted in parts of Utah County and rumors have been spreading that it will most likely be adopted soon in the Alpine School District and possibly other districts in the area.

Pushing seminary into the middle schools will have a tremendous negative impact on the quality of education that these students will get. They will lose another two elective classes that allow them to explore their interests during their crucial years of defining their identity. Elective teachers and administrators will have to cut their programs shorter due to a decreased demand brought on by the church and possibly offer less options to these students.

Not only is this detrimental to the students' education, but it is also highly unethical. No religious institution should have a say in the secular education of these students. If teachers are not allowed to preach religion in class, no church should not be allowed to control their education. This goes against the separation of religion and state outlined in the US Constitution.

We realize that this has already impacted the high schoolers for decades and seek change in its implementation, but before we speak against release time seminary in high school, we petition to terminate the move to LDS seminary at the middle school level so that our youth can have the space in their schedule to healthily explore their interests without the church interfering.


This petition made change with 153 supporters!

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