As students of various religions, we are offended by an annual seminary event that finds its way into the halls of Hunter High School and the realm of public education. This letter is regarding Missionary Week. We feel that the entire purpose of LDS Missionary Week is to separate students who are enrolled in seminary from those who are not. Seminary students distinguish themselves from others by dressing like missionaries, thus allowing them to identify students who are not LDS. This promotes an uncomfortable pressure situation in which "missionaries" try to convert other students into the LDS faith.
Religion should not have a role in public education. Our religious beliefs should be no one's business but our own, and it should definitely have no part in our educational careers. LDS Release Time was established so that students who want to take seminary can do so, and if a student is not enrolled in seminary it is simply because they choose not to be.As students of Hunter High School, we feel that LDS Missionary Week has no place in our school, and we would prefer that it be abolished during school time. However, realizing our minority position, we would be satisfied if the seminary teachers would tell their students not to look for students who are not LDS and invite them to church, early morning devotional, etc. If people choose to practice their beliefs outside the walls of public education, we have no problem with it. Our resentment occurs when the beliefs are forced onto us unwillingly. We simply feel uncomfortable by the practice of Missionary Week because it divides the student body into the LDS portion and the non-LDS portion. As people attending a public school, we should be unified as a student body without dividing barriers like race, gender and religion.
West Valley City