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Essay on The First Amendment in Public Schools

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The First Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1789 in order to secure individual rights to freedom of religion, speech, and the press in America. The First Amendment states, “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” (Resources). Various government officials and supporters of constitutional rights of individuals have staunchly defended students’ First Amendment rights on public school property.
The fortieth president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, who served two successful terms, clearly supported and protected individual rights in an educational setting. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, he pushed for a revised constitutional amendment to restore voluntary prayer to the classroom that was previously revoked (Hoffman). Reagan believed restricting the prayer in public schools would be unconstitutional. The fortieth president showed his support by stating, “Nothing in this constitution shall be constructed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools” (Hoffman). This demonstrates that Reagan supported the First Amendment because the First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].” Reagan realized that prohibiting prayer in school would violate the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion. Reagan uses an ethical appeal of equality by supporting his reasons with logical evidence from the First Amendment. Furthermore, Reagan has been cited as showing support of personal expressions of religion in a public school setting but not the...


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...this document in my paper to prove that government officials, such as members of the Supreme Court, have upheld First Amendment liberties for all.
White, Justice. "Excerpts From Opinions in Ruling on Censuring High School Newspaper." SIRS Decades. ProQuest, 14 Jan. 1988. Web. 12 Feb. 2014. . This article covers opinions and views on a court's ruling to censor a high school newspaper. This source applies the court case to the First Amendment to assess its constitutionality. This source is valid because it is a product of the New York Times. The New York Times is an extremely credible source that has been trusted for years by the public. I will use this source to prove First Amendment rights must and have been supported by public education and government officials.


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