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Public Schools: We Have the Right to Pray Essay

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Public Schools: We Have the Right to Pray


Prayer in public schools has been a controversial issue in our country for a very long time.  According to the First Amendment, the government shall not establish any official religion. Therefore, as long as the government doesn't make it mandatory for the students to pray, they should be allowed to at least have that choice. One minute set aside for a student to either have a moment of silence or to have their own prayer isn't hurting anyone, as long as students are not forced to pray. By taking away that right, it is violating their rights as American citizens and their right to have freedom of religion.

In 1962, The Supreme Court ruled that school prayer violates the constitution. Many believe a new amendment needs to allow voluntary school prayer. For example, the Christian Coalition was sponsoring a bill called The House Joint Resolution 78 or The Religious Freedom Amendment. This bill will not allow the government to establish a religion, but it does give people the right to pray and recognize their own religious beliefs and traditions on public property, which does include schools. William J. Murry, the head of the Religious Freedom Coalition, held a family rally for those in favor of this bill. A petition was signed of almost one million signatures on it. The bill ended up making it to the House of Representatives. While it gained the majority of the votes, it failed to gain the 2/3 vote to amend the Constitution. They are still working on "restoring voluntary school prayer and having a safeguard for religious freedoms."
Colby May, the director of government affairs for the American Center for Law and Justice, says that a change needs to be made. Those who oppose him arg...


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...rayer need to be reintroduced  in the school system. Perhaps this is a way to get kids back on track since the current downfall of good behavior in schools. Our country believes in the "freedom of religion" but by taking away the right to pray, it takes away from that "freedom" many so desperately need.

Works Cited

"House Panel Approves Constitutional Amendment Allowing School Prayer." Your School and the Law 14 Nov. 1997.

"School Prayer Bill Attracts Support." Your School and the Law 11 April. 2007.

"School Prayer After Santa Fe?; Public Schools Caught Between Students, Parents and Court." Texas Lawyer 7 Aug. 2004:  Pg 25.

"Key Cases on School Prayer" Managing School Business 23 April 2006.

Office of Congressman Istook, U.S. House of Representatives. "The Religious Freedom Amendment." 10 Nov. 2001.   




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