Religious Beliefs In Public Schools

Decent Essays
Is it ok for students to express religious beliefs in class discussions, or through assignments? If you were Brittany Settle you would probably answer “No”. Settle v. Dickson County School Board, 53 F. 3d 152 (6th Cir. 1995), Brittany’s assignment was a research paper and her topic was drama approved by her teacher, which she later changed, without approval, to “The Life of Jesus”. The teacher refused her paper and Brittany received a zero. The teacher gave six reasons why she refused Brittany’s paper. Court ruled that Brittany’s free speech was not violated, by having to abide by a teacher's curriculum, and the teacher has control over the curriculum and classroom. However, on the United States Department of Education website, (2003)…show more content…
Constitution's First Amendment requirement that the District neither establish religion in the schools nor prohibit students’ free exercise of religion according to pertinent interpretation and application of those constitutional provisions by the courts. Any religious characters need to conform to policy 8800” (Markesan District School, 2013). “Decisions of the United States Supreme Court have made it clear that it is not the province of a public school to advance or inhibit religious beliefs or practices” (Markesan District School, 2015). Under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, this remains the “inviolate province of the individual and the church of his/her choice. The rights of any minority, no matter how small, must be protected. District staff members shall not use prayer, religious readings, or religious symbols as a devotional exercise or in an act of worship or celebration” (20 U.S.C. 4071 et seq.) (Markesan District School, 2015). Having examined the Markesan District School First Amendment related to this topic the next step is to conclude my research on this topic.


In conclusion, my research summarized Religion and the First Amendment in the Markesan School system, the legal issues regarding grading of assignments and how educators need to be neutral in grading and cannot grade on religious attributes, the appropriateness of displaying student’s work, as long as it is labeled as the students’ and was not as the teachers or schools opinion, and relates to the lesson that was taught, it may be displayed temporarily for an assignment. The assignment also needs to adhere to the requirement of the course if higher
Get Access