Well, from my own experiences in high school, even getting the teachers to stand for such a thing would be a tremendously difficult task. I live in Oregon, which is a fairly liberal state, and yet at least two of the seven teachers I had this year would qualify as conservative Christians, and believe in Biblical Inerrancy. To say the least, this would not go over well. And parents/students would be even worse.
Back to the topic, I think such a class would be very useful. While most of the major religions (I learned about Christianity, Judism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, and Confuscionism (please don’t maim me if I misspelled things)) are already taught in the Global Studies classes, simply trying to teach about the religions of the world for a year would do wonders to open up peoples’ minds about what different cultures and people actually believe, rather then having people rely on what they hear. As an Athiest myself, I am stuck constantly defending Catholicism/Mormonism/Jehova’s Witnesses from people whom simply do not believe that they are Christian. Such a class would be a tremendous asset, as well as a good way to help teach about current events.
Some of the problems are funding and simply trying not to step on anybody’s toes. In Oregon at least, funding for the schools is, shall we say, difficult to come by. Already, we have no history outside of American history taught, and sparse electives available, with more vanishing as time goes by. Trying to get the funding to put together a comprehensive curriciulum, find a competent and suitably objective teacher, and sell the idea to the school board would be an incredibly difficult task.
The other issue, as has been alluded to, is not causing an outrage among the more conservative members of religions. Trying to teach things equally, with people watching every move to try and pick up some implied bias against their set of beliefs, or criticism, real or imagined, of what they believe, is not exactly an easy task. And there’s always deciding what to teach.
This could be a great class, and an incredibly useful one in today’s society. But selling it isn’t going to be a horribly easy hurdle to surmount.
I did my Senior Thesis on a religion, but nobody wanted me to present. Apparently Scientology isn’t mainstream enough for me to come in and describe at length my research into it (I’m not a Scientologist myself, thankfully).