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Engel vs. Vitale

Social Studies Project on Supreme Court Case
by

Sigourney Linde

on 23 May 2011

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Transcript of Engel vs. Vitale

Engel Vs. Vitale Who? when? The Ruling... where? What? Steven L. Engel William J. Vitale Represented the parents in court Lawyer- William J. Butler Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country Wanted to get rid of whole-school prayer in schools Harvard Law Graduate-1940's One of the parents of the children who felt the prayer was unfair Parent who William J. Vitale and the State Board of Regents Thought prayer was Constitutional Board of Regents Represented the Board of Regents Sued by Engel Lawyer- Bertram B. Daiker Is required prayer in school Constitutional? Law degree from New York University Head Judge On Case

(March 19, 1891 – July 9, 1974)

14th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Elected Governor of California three times Earl Warren Cause School had required prayer Children were against it Polythiestic against "God"
not "gods" Non-religious kids were offended Parent's of the children brought it to court after children complained All in all, caused controversy Effect This is why the parents and the Board of Regents went to court In fact, they went through one district court, and two Appellate courts before appealing to the Supreme Court Everything happened between 1958 and 1962 Hyde Park, New York The court ruled that... a) yes, the prayer was unconstitutional

b) but, prayer and certain religious items/actions are permitted
(as long as they are not led by the school) What are the exceptions? Individual prayer Religious jewlery and clothing Group Prayer Extra- Curricular Religious Studies Why is it important today!? Religious freedom! People of all religions can be free about their beliefs in schools You can not be required to say prayers This case case defined our in-school rights regarding religion If this case hadn't been brought to Supreme Court, students would still be required to say prayers that are offensive to them What is considered "too religious" to be allowed schools? Does prayer violate the first amendment's establishment clause? Establishment Clause Says that Congress can't make or endorse a certain religion.

Located in the first amendment.

Importance:
By requiring a prayer (which is religious) the state is endorsing monotheistic religions. Children can say prayers by themselves or with a group as long as it is not required by the teachers. Teachers are allowed to say prayers individually. You can wear crosses or religious clothing, along with articles of clothing with religious content on them. Children and teachers can pray in groups.

Can't be FORCED. Religious classes can be held, but they must be all inclusive, and they may not be required. This only applies to public schools and colleges. Long term effects: We now know our specific religious rights in school Schools have better guidelines than they did in the 1950's and 1960's The End "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" Review 1962- Supreme Court

Engel was the petitioner

Vitale was the respondent

Overall cause:
an unfair prayer required in schools

Constitutional Question:
What can be considered "too religious" to be allowed in schools?
Full transcript