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Religion in Public Schools Essay

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Religious Rights in Public Schools



"JESUS in the classroom!" Are you feeling uncomfortable yet? Religion in the public school systems is among the top of the list of controversial topics in American society, We've long been advised to avoid this and other religiously politically intertwined subjects in polite conversation. If you're like most Americans, this topic makes you frustrated, high strung, or at least a little queasy. From the day the 1st amendment right appeared in the U.S. Constitution, to this present day, and surely into our nation's tomorrows, the proper role of religion in public schools has been, is, and will continue to be a subject of great debate. It is important for school officials, parents, and students to have a clear understanding of the 1st amendment and how it affects their religious rights and the religious rights of others in a public school setting. Unfortunately, most people are confused or misguided when it comes to this issue. The purpose of this paper is to guide the reader through a clear understanding of the 1st amendment; the impact it has had in education, the religious freedoms it grants to students, and the religious freedoms it grants (or doesn't grant) to teachers.
The Constitution exists precisely so that opinions and judgments, including can be formed, tested, and expressed. These judgments are for the individual to make, not for the Government to decree even with the mandate or approval of a majority (Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, 1999). In knowing that, the 1st amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting free exercise thereof…" As you can see there are two clauses in this part of the amendment. ...


... middle of paper ...


... First Amendment Court Cases. Schenck v. United States (1919).

Riley, R. (1998). Secretary's statement on religious expression. Retrieved November 15,
2001, from, the World Wide Web:
http://www.ed.gov/Speeches/08-1995/religion.html

Staver, Mathew. Teachers' Rights on Public School Campuses. Retrieved November 16, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.lc.org/OldResources/teachers_rights_0900.html

United States Supreme Court. (1993). Lamb's Chapel v. Center. Washington DC.
Government Printing Office.

United States Supreme Court. (1994). Mozert v. Hawkins County Board of
Education, 827 F.2d 1058 (6th Cir. 1987). Washington DC; US Government Printing Office.

United States Supreme Court. (1969). Tinker v. Des Moines School Districk, 393 U.S.
503, 89 S. Ct. 733, 21 L. Ed. 2d. 731. Washington DC; US Government Printing Office.


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