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Religious Holidays

When teaching students about religious holidays, it is important that teachers remain objective. The best way to achieve this is by attribution. For example, "Luke wrote that...," or "The Bible says..." When referring to beliefs about the story, use phrases such as "Christians believe..." or "John Newton believed..."

You can help students understand the influence religious events and holidays have had on history, literature, art, and music. Your task is not to prove something is true or to question whether it is accurate.

According to the U.S. Department of Education's guidelines on students' religious liberties, students have the right to freely express themselves regarding their personal beliefs. However, as moderator of a class discussion on this topic, a teacher should emphasize that every student be respectful regarding their classmates' comments. No student should be made to feel excluded for expressing belief or disbelief in the story.

Religious stories have had significant influence in world history and should be understood as such. When educators teach about them, they are not teaching Sunday school; they are teaching history, literature, art, music, and language arts.

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