Social Conflict in Public Schools

Topics: Sociology, Education, School Pages: 3 (958 words) Published: May 30, 2011
Social Conflicts in Public Schools

Big American government is widely perceived as the foundation of social order in our country, yet it is, as some would say the single greatest source of disorder. Political power constantly tempts those who control it to enforce conformity with their own preferences of Education, and Religion, As seen in our country and many parts of the world, citizens will evade enforcers if they can but when necessary will fight back. Our public schools can also be looked at through the structural-functional theory In an article by Jim Powell entitled “ Public Schools and Social Conflicts” he discusses the many conflicts in our public schools are primarily the product of our governments deliberate doings. In the early 1840’s for instance, Protestant dominated public schools were made compulsory for the newly landed immigrant Irish and southern European Catholics. Conflict arose when the Catholics resented having to pay taxes for Protestant schools where courtesy of another government bodies mandate Protestant values were to be taught there as well. The Catholics proceeded to establish their own system of “parochial” schools, however the age old practice of collecting public school taxes still exists no matter where the student chooses to be educated. Religion is another public school related conflict that Jim Powell discusses. Here he discusses the most famous social conflicts of public school history, the issue of whether schools should teach the biblical story of how the world was created. The “Butler Act” which made it illegal for any public school to teach a theory that denied the biblical story was how the conflict began. After a series of trials, debates, court and governmental interventions, the conflict still exists. Our public schools can also be viewed under he structural-functional theory. The various cogs of our public schools were probably intended to work together coherently to promote solidarity and...
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