ERIC Number: ED310006
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: N/A
Constitutional Amendment Relating to School Prayer. Hearing on S.J. Res. 2: A Joint Resolution Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Relating to Voluntary Silent Prayer or Reflection, before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-Ninth Congress, First Session (June 19, 1985).
Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
Senate Joint Resolution 2 calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to allow voluntary silent prayer or reflection in public schools. The hearing report consists of testimony on the proposed legislation by expert witnesses, prepared statements by various individuals and organizations, and newspaper article reprints and Supreme Court opinions regarding the case of Wallace v. Jaffree, in which the Court struck down an Alabama statute that provided for a daily period of silence in all public schools for meditation or silent prayer. The individuals who participated in these hearings debated several issues, including: (1) what were Thomas Jefferson's positions on the role of religion in the United States and prayer in school? (2) does freedom of speech include the right to pray in school? (3) would allowing silent prayer or reflection in the school be seen as encouraging religion by providing time for silent prayer or as protecting students from the encouragement of religion by allowing them the option to engage in silent reflection (or non-prayer)? (4) are some "moments of silence" statutes constitutional, while others are not? and (5) what controls on implementation can be guaranteed so that teachers do not go beyond the letter of the proposed legislation? Main witnesses testifying before the committee were: Congressman Joe Barton, Georgia; Reverend Dean Kelly, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; Congressman Thomas Kindness, Ohio; Dr. Michael Malbin, American Enterprise Institute; Thomas Parker, Attorney for Alabama in Wallace v. Jaffree; and Dean Norman Redlich, College of Law, New York University. (PPB)
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution