The Legal Aspects of Prayer in Schools
To pray or not to pray be one of the questions that arose when a disagreement about separating church and state occurs. Praying in public schools is a problem for people of different religious faiths and for those not associated with a religion. “Religion provides fertile ground for helping us understand how confliction views of education can result in legal challenges” (Kauchak 2005). “The role of religion in U.S. schools is and always has been controversial, and teachers are often caught in the crossfire” (Kauchak 2005).
Religion is a necessity in some people’s lives. Prayer can help a student through speed bumps that may occur on a given day. Since religion was taken out of the school, some individuals believe this is a leading cause of the crime and conflict within the school system. In the past, students were required to take bible lessons in school with parent’s permission. Logically the debate of religion in school should have been resolved, with a parent deciding if they wanted his or her child to participate in bible class and prayer. The law was challenged and ruled that the First Amendment establishment clause was violated. (Abington School District v. Schempp, 1963) Religious symbols in schools were prohibited as well.
Individuals who do not believe in religion feel it should not be imposed on them. As citizens, they believe this infringes on their rights. They do not want to take the chance of their children being exposed to beliefs they do not agree with. Reaching a compromise to the situation was impossible. Individuals have difficulty on compromising when they believe their point of view is correct. Therefore, it becomes necessary for these matters to be handled legally.
Several cases have begun a legal trend. The legalities are difficult for a teacher who believes in prayer. When individuals believe, their first instinct when giving advice, is telling the individual turn to God. Legally the...