No Prayer in Public Schools Essay

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No Prayer in Public Schools

Chapter three of Civil Liberties: Opposing Viewpoints inspired me to research today’s issues of school prayer. To understand how we got to where we are today, I first delved into our countries history of court cases pertaining to rulings on prayer in schools. Lastly, to update my audience on how our lives are being affected today, I directed my efforts toward finding current situations. By analyzing these situations, I gained knowledge for a better understanding of why society needs to be aware of these controversies. I don’t think there should be any form of organized prayer in today’s public schools.

Praying in school was first addressed in the Supreme Court in 1962 in the Engle v. Vitale case. The
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Jaffree case, the court struck down Alabama’s moment of silence law by banning observance of “daily moments of silence” from public schools when students were encouraged to pray during the silent periods.

When we move to current issues, we find children like Emily Lesk, a Virginia student, who stands in the hallway for one minute every morning because she does not agree with the moment of silence her school holds (Lesk). I feel that many children are faced with difficult decisions, affecting their self-esteem. Some parents put pressure on their kids to get up and walk out, just like Emily does. However, this draws attention to them and provides an opportunity for their peers to unfairly judge them. On the other hand, if they remain in class, they will be disobeying their parents.
A wall of separation has long been established and it is understood that two basic institutions of society can influence one another, yet neither will dominate the other. The issue of teaching religion in school can be judged by this principal. A strong point addressed, which I agree with, states that teaching morals and values is different than teaching religion.

Prayer in school has been an issue for many years, and there is not one solution that everyone will agree on. This issue will hit close to home in a short number of years when I start my own family. I will be faced with difficult decisions when placing my children into a school. Many pieces of

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