Religion in Schools
The significant debate on religion in schools is becoming more and more heated. Many people say that banning religion in schools would be unconstitutional, which in some aspects is understandable since the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of religion. Since September 11th there has been a greater tendency of Americans to want to pray together in public , especially students in public schools. Some say that praying is a way to declare their freedom and independency, but now they are being told that they can’t express what they feel about the events happening around them through prayer or religious activity. The first amendment of the U. S. Constitution provides the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and other freedoms that are of importance to Americans today. The debate over religion being banned from schools is raising some questions about whether or not that would violate the first amendment of the U. S. Constitution. An amendment to protect religious expression in public places, especially in public schools, was introduced to Congress in 1994 after the Republicans won the majority vote in both houses since most of the Americans not in favor of banni
Schempp in 1963 banned teacher-led Bible readings. Before these principles were distributed to schools all across the U. Released-time programs are also becoming more popular. If a student gives an oral presentation conducting a religious service then the school or teacher has the right to stop the student from doing this. "Church-state separation ensures that religious advocacy will come from religious persons and institutions, but increasingly many of these parties, rather than taking their role seriously, seem to want to fault the government for its failure to become itself a religious advocate" (Davis 493-508). "Theft, vandalism, bullying, cruelty, violence and kindness have everything to do with the Golden Rule" (Sewall 10-16). Although religion is considered a major part of our history it is now hard for students to be taught about religious activities that have occurred in our history without violating laws. On July 12, 1995 president Bill Clinton gave a speech to a high school and said that "nothing in the first amendment converts our public schools to religion-free zones or requires all religious expression to be left at the schoolhouse door" (Cline). This means that the government cannot advance, encourage, discourage, or endorse any kind of religion so that Americans can be ensured a free exercise of their religion. The inclusion of some religious clubs and activities that have been allowed in public schools for years are now being questioned due to the debate over religion in schools being unconstitutional. Although the issue regarding religion in the public schools is still a difficult one, many of these issues have been settled. These two phrases are now being questioned also. Some thought that students were not even allowed to bring their own religious materials with them to school or say prayers at school, but these principles allowed students to do so. History about the Pilgrims"tm arrival here in the 17th century has to be taught without any reference to how they fled religious persecution; Joan of Arc can be studied, but any discussion of the mystical visions that drove her to the stake is verboten (Stephen 20).
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