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Study: Majority of Americans Say Parents Should be Informed of 'Inappropriate Content' Taught to Kids, Have Way to Opt Out


A new survey released by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty addresses the topic of education and whether parents or school administrators should have the final word on the curriculum being taught to children.

The Religious Freedom Index comes during a time when parents and public schools have been battling over hot-button issues such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and adopting transgender policies.

The comprehensive study is based on responses from 1,000 Americans to questions about their views on religious liberty. 

On the topic of education, 63 percent of respondents said that "parents should have the final say and should be able to opt-out of morally objectionable or inappropriate content," while 37 percent believe that "public schools should have the final say and parents should not be able to opt-out of morally objectionable or inappropriate content."

Questions about higher education were asked and the amount of freedom religious groups should have to engage in public discussions while on campus.

  • The index shows strong support for permitting religious student groups to "have a place on public university campuses, just like other student organizations" by earning a score of 63 percent. 
  • Allowing religious groups to "choose leaders that adhere to the teachings of their faith" measured in at 60 percent.
  • And 58 percent of those questioned said they agreed that "public universities should strive to ensure philosophical and religious diversity on campus among both students and professors."

The index also asked questions about the availability of government funds for religious organizations.

This year, 71 percent of respondents agreed that "religious organizations should be just as eligible to receive government funds as non-religious organizations." This is an increase from the 65 percent who answered the same question in 2020. 

When asked if "professors at public universities should have the freedom to share their religious beliefs on controversial issues inside and outside of the classroom," 44 percent of respondents said they should while 28 percent objected.

Public perception was much more divided on whether professors should be allowed to "share their religious beliefs on sexual orientation and gender identity inside and outside the classroom." 

The survey revealed that 35 percent did not approve of teachers having that freedom while 34 percent believe that they do. 

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