Presentation on theme: "RELIGION and the Law in Public Schools Jennifer Lederer ~ Emily Gadberry ~ Marlena Bonner ~ Chelsey Ogden."— Presentation transcript:
RELIGION and the Law in Public Schools Jennifer Lederer ~ Emily Gadberry ~ Marlena Bonner ~ Chelsey Ogden
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Can students pray in School? Past Yes! Prayer and scripture reading were common and required by law in some states. Present Yes! When it is student initiated, voluntary, private and does not interfere with other students or the school’s educational mission. First Amendment guarantees that students may engage in forms of non-disruptive personal religious expression.
Can Teachers Lead Prayer in School? Can Teachers Pray on Their Own? Past Up until the 1960s, when people started to interpret the laws about separation of church and state, teachers led prayer in school. Madalyn Murray O’Hair Present As representatives of the state, teachers are prohibited by the Establishment Clause from encouraging or discouraging prayer. Teachers may take part in religious activities before/after school, and during lunch.
Religion in the Classroom Can it be Discussed? Students In 1963 mandatory reading of Bible verses or prayer was ruled unconstitutional. Students may express their religious beliefs in the form of reports, homework, artwork and other expressions. Teachers Teachers can teach about religion, as long as it meets certain requirements and doesn’t teach it as the truth. Teachers can teach theories of religion objectively for historical purposes.
Religious Organizations in School Students Organized prayer in school is illegal, however it may be legal for extracurricular activities and assemblies to occur on school grounds. “See You at the Pole” Moment of Silence Teachers Teachers may not participate in the religious aspect of student events and gatherings but can be present to supervise the behavior of the students. Teachers can participate in religious organizations on their own time.
10 Commandments The 10 Commandments can not be posted in isolation. They can be displayed along with other sets of religious laws and would have to be accompanied with secular laws to be part of a cultural display. Law forbids the official use of religious symbols in schools. The legality of the displays are usually decided on a case by case basis.
FYI Children are allowed to wear clothing and jewelry that express their religious freedom. Public schools may teach about religious holidays but not observe the holidays as religious events. Prayers deemed to be unconstitutional at graduation ceremonies and sporting events.
“Religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life.”