ERIC Number: ED234514
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Mar-1
Reference Count: N/A
Prayer, the Bible and the Public Schools. Issuegram 33.
Lines, Patricia M.
By considering the historical background, relevant court decisions, constitutional alternatives, and practical and political implications, this paper examines the legal issues surrounding proposals calling for prayer, Bible reading, or posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools. Historically, the secularization of public schools occurred when educators sought to redesign them for all children by eliminating or modifying religious material. Since the Supreme Court decisions in the early 1960's declaring prayer in public schools unconstitutional and similarly excluding Bible reading as a religious exercise, subsequent litigation has addressed the issues of religion in the schools. Among the alternatives to school prayer permitted by the United States Constitution are private unobtrusive prayer, student-initiated group prayer, and the secular study of religious materials. Moreover, though polls show public support for a constitutional prayer amendment, such proposals are often defeated when put to a vote. Such defeats imply rejection of a constitutional amendment providing official encouragement for religion. (PB)
Descriptors: Bulletins, Constitutional Law, Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Public Schools, Religion, School Law
Distribution Center, Education Commission of the States, 1860 Lincoln Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80295 ($2.00 prepaid; quantity discounts; add $1.00 on non-prepaid orders to cover invoicing).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.