ERIC Number: ED336869
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Equal Access, Mergens and the Education-Religion Mix.
O'Reilly, Robert C.
The 1984 United States Equal Access Act is analyzed in this paper, with a focus on the implications of the Supreme Court ruling in "Board of Education of the Wayside County Schools, etc., et al. v. Bridget Mergens" for church/state separation issues in the public schools. The "Mergens" case involved an extracurricular student Bible study club in a school that received federal financial support. The first section of the paper surveys cases dealing with church/state separation issues in educational settings. A background of the "Mergens" case based on local interviews is presented in the second section. The third section offers a historical overview of the American dilemma of church/state separation. The Supreme Court ruling is analyzed in the fourth section, asking whether the"Mergens" case has created a condition of multiple ambiguities. The final section offers five guidelines for administrators, who are cautioned to read the Equal Access Act thoughtfully and reflectively and to engage in integrative planning. Appendices contain a sample school policy for equal access and student clubs and an epilogue to the case. (18 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Supreme Court
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Conference of Professors of Educational Administration (Fargo, SD, August 11-16, 1991).