ERIC Number: ED170846
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
Religion in the Public Schools--The Twilight Zones.
This paper analyzes two parts of the First Amendment, the establishment and free exercise clauses, and discusses related court cases. The establishment clause prohibits the fusion of governmental and religious functions or the dependency of one on the other. The free exercise clause guarantees every person the freedom to choose his or her own religion and to define his or her own relationship between these two clauses. The paper discusses what it calls the "twilight zones" of religion in public schools, namely, programs devoted to activities with religious overtones, school-sponsored student clubs with a religious theme, and prayers recited before school meetings. Other gray areas involve holiday programs with a religious theme, distribution of Bibles on school grounds, using the Bible as a resource book, and religion courses in general. The paper concludes that if a school district remains neutral in the exercise of the establishment and free exercise clauses, it can prevent the kind of involvement that leads to governmental control of churches or governmental restraint of religious practices. (Author/LD)
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Public Schools, Religion, Speeches, State Church Separation
Not available separately; See EA 011 580
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.
Identifiers: First Amendment
Note: Chapter 12 of "Contemporary Legal Issues in Education" (EA 011 580); For related documents, see EA 011 580-581 and EA 011 583-598 ; Paper presented at the 1978 Annual Convention of the National Organization on Legal Problems of Education