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Religion in Public Schools

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Carissa P

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Religion in Public Schools

Public Schools
Religion in
Let's look at some Stats:
Did you know:
• Many people believe that prayer is not allowed in the public schools. This is wrong.
• Prayer is allowed in schools and in fact is a protected form of free speech.
• If a school has as few as one extra-curricular student led or student organized group then students have a legal right to organize a bible or other religious club to meet outside classroom time.
• The one place where prayer is not normally permitted is in the classroom itself when class is in session.

What is expected of teachers:
• As interpreted by the courts, the Constitution's First Amendment requires that public school teachers, principals, and boards be religiously neutral:
They may not promote a particular religion as being superior to any other.
They may not promote religion in general as superior to a secular approach to life.
They may not promote secularism in general as superior to a religious approach to life.
They may not be antagonistic to religion in general or a particular religious belief in particular.
They may not be antagonistic to secularism.
They must neither advance nor inhibit religion.
Should religion be taught in the public school curriculum?
What do you think.
What percent of the American population claims
to be affiliated with a religion?
Line-Up
What percent of the American population claims
to be affiliated with a religion?
Line-Up
What percent of the American population claims
to be affiliated with a religion?
Line-Up
American Statistics
American Statistics
American Statistics
What did religion in the classroom use to look like?
How it can still be seen today
Religious Clubs
What Teachers have to say...
To better understand this topic and how it might occur in our future classrooms, we talked to a few teachers to get some valuable input!
Kendra – 3rd Grade Teacher
Let the kids talk about it if they bring it up.
If off topic steer the kids back to what they are discussing.
Example: Why the pilgrims came to America.


If need to seek advice, she would ask the counselor or principal.

"How do you approach religion in your classroom?"
"Who do you seek after for advice?"
Angie - 1st Grade
Kids will frequently bring up topics like this. Just know that it is alright to let them talk about it, as long as you don't promote your beliefs.


Your facility members and administrators are some of the best resources you will have when seeking advice. Even after 17 years of teaching, I still find myself asking for input in tough situations.

"How do you approach religion in your classroom?"
"Who do you seek after for advice?"
"How do you approach religion in your classroom and who do you ask for advice?"
"Religion is a big part of my classroom because I teach in a Catholic school. We try to incorporate Catholic values in everything we teach. We discuss how our religion compares to other religions but do not put other religions down. We teach our students to share their beliefs in our classrooms and to care for others. If I have any questions, I ask the principal."
Addressing Common Misconceptions
What the Constitution Prohibits:
Requiring students to recite prayers in class
Public prayers at high school games
An individual student or groups of students are free to pray. To prevent this would violate free speech rights.
Teachers, coaches, etc. cannot lead a group prayer. To do so would be viewed as a school endorsement of a specific religion.
Promoting any one denomination or religion at the expense of another.
Banning the wearing of religion clothing and symbols
Prayers before Board of Education meetings
What the Constitution Allows:
Prayer at graduation ceremonies
Teaching religion
Student religious clubs
Moments of silence
Prayer outside of school building
School religion speech
These rights are constitutionally protected as freedom of speech, religion, and assembly rights.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/159548/identify-christian.aspx
http://www.gallup.com/poll/117409/easter-smaller-percentage-americans-christian.aspx
http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise/
http://www.free2pray.info/Schools.html
http://www.usflag.org/history/pledgeofallegiance.html
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/jan-june00/prayerdecision.html
"Religion and Society." and how religions can affect poverty and social exclusion. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. <http://www.social-exclusion-housing.com/religion-and-society.html>.
"Religion in U.S. Public Schools." Religion in U.S. Public Schools. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. <http://www.religioustolerance.org/ps_pra9.htm>.
"TOP RECENT CONTENT." Schools focus on teaching tolerance of religion. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. <http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/archives/57004/>.
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel04.html
http://www.twainquotes.com/SupremeCourt.html
http://the60sat50.blogspot.com/2012_06_01_archive.html


A Look into the History of Religion in Public Schools
1787: Congress states: "Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged."
1890: Supreme Court rules that America "is a religious people... this is a Christian nation" as such it is fitting that its people would teach their children the Christian faith. (The Trinity Case)
1925: Bible readings becomes an everyday part in the public school system.
1948: Religious Instruction becomes Prohibited in Public Schools
McCollum vs. Board of Education: Supreme Court rules that this violates the First Amendment.
1952: Public Schools are able to accommodate religious instruction.
1954: "One Nation under God" is added to the Pledge of Allegiance.
In the 50's
The 60's
1962: Voluntary Prayer is deemed Unconstitutional
1963: Workers may keep the Sabbath
The 80's
1980: Posting of the Ten Commandments is Unconstitutional
1985: No more "Moment of Silence"
1987: Creation vs. Evolution requires balanced treatment
1992: Prayers at Graduation no longer allowed
2000: Prayers before Football games become Unconstitutional
1990- Today
All of these events have helped shape our public school into what it is today.
References:
1787
1890
1925
1948
1952
1954
1962
1963
1980
1985
1987
1992
2000
1968
1995
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