School Law: Religion Part III

Engagement Description

Summary

This engagement examines some of the frequent issues that confront schools concerning religion and education. These include encouraging student prayer, recognizing student Bible clubs, refusal to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, inviting clergy to offer invocations at graduations, teaching about religion in the curriculum, silent prayer and meditation, and Christmas celebrations. This lesson will summarize the constitutional principles that apply to these issues and how they are resolved in the courts.

Learning Objectives

  1. Educators will understand how courts have interpreted the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment in cases dealing with religious issues in public schools.
  2. Educators will be able to apply the religion clauses to religious conflicts that arise in their schools.

About the Author

David Schimmel, J.D.

David Schimmel, J.D.

David Schimmel, J.D. is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and from 1999 to 2010 was Visiting Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He is author of over 70 articles and co-author of 8 books about law and education, including Teachers and the Law, 9th Ed. (2015).

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