ERIC Number: EJ757391
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Religion's Legal Place in the Schoolhouse
May, Colby M.
School Administrator, v63 n9 p32 Oct 2006
Among the many issues that public school leaders and teachers often deal with is the proper role of religious belief and practice within their schools. The law regarding how the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution applies to the public school context can often seem complex and confusing, with some cases holding that a school improperly endorsed a religious viewpoint and others stating that a school improperly censored religious expression occurring on campus. In this article, the author, as an attorney with a conservative organization that works to protect religious and constitutional freedoms, addresses some of the most common questions and misconceptions regarding religious expression in the public schools. An issue public school administrators and teachers often confront is the appropriate role that religion may play during instructional time in the classroom. There is a key difference between "religious activity" or "religious instruction" in the classroom--that is between instructing students that the tenets of one religion are true and should be followed, which is not permitted, and teaching about religion, such as what members of various religions believe, which is permitted.
Descriptors: Misconceptions, Constitutional Law, Public Schools, Religion, State Church Separation, Censorship, Freedom of Speech
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aasa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment