Gisselle Zepeda Mr. Lievre American Government Credit 5 Board of Education of Westside Community Schools Versus Mergens The Equal Access Act upheld by the Supreme Court in Board of Education v. Mergens, 1990, requires public secondary schools to allow access to religiously based student groups on the same basis as other student clubs. The school administration denied a group of students their right to create a Christian after school club. The students intended for their club to have just the same privileges and club meetings as all other after school clubs. The schools excuse being that it lacked faculty support which led to the school and district being sued by the students. “The students alleged that Westside 's refusal violated the Equal Access Act, which requires that schools in receipt of federal funds provide "equal access" to student groups seeking to express "religious, political, philosophical, or other content" messages” (Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens by and Through Mergens).
Why? Why is it such a big deal to allow him, if he is not engaging in using illegal drugs? As I once mentioned, the Acton family sued the school and said the school has violated the fourth amendment. In this case, the constitution should have protected the school districts side. Amendment four states “against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”.
The school board did violate the Establishment Clause by requiring their impressionable student council members to attend biased school-sponsored board meetings that begun with Christian prayer. The overarching rule of the Establishment Clause states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783, 790, S.Ct. 330,77 L.Ed.2d 1019 (1983). This clause intends to keep the church and the state separate of each other. Id at 802.
The first amendment plainly states that the U.S government cannot make religious laws, and that it cannot prevent any citizen from worshipping in a choose manner. The following year Abington School District v. Schempp, the court decided against bible readings in public schools, less than 20 years later in (Stone v. Graham) the supreme court ban the ten commandments in public schools say the following “ If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. This is not a permissible state objective." -- (Stone v. Graham)
As we all know today’s school are a lot different than those in the 1960’s. During the 1960’s is was tradition to open each and every day with a nondenominational prayer, along with the Pledge of Allegiance. Today, prayer is accepted in schools as long as it is led by the student themselves, and not the teacher. In 1962 the case of Engel vs. Vitale went to the Supreme Court based off the idea of whether school sponsored prayer violates the First Amendment Establishment Clause. At this time there was a general law in New York State that required every school within the state to open each day with the Pledge of Allegiance, and a prayer that did not restrict denomination.
Topic Sentence: Military service is not a good fit for everyone. Detail A: Discipline is a key factor in armed forces that does not fit with all. Detail B: Military teambuilding could be affected due to rapid changeover. Detail C: Some religion groups will not want their people to fight if war breaks out. Conclusion Thesis Sentence (restated in different words): As Americans we have the right to choose how we want to support ourselves and family which could be by continuing your education after high school.
The faculty in the school requested them to remove the band and when they refused, the district suspended the students. When they took the case to Supreme Court and they sided with the students stating students and teachers cannot "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." The court did not grant the a right to “unlimited” self expression and said that if the expression of the student does not disrupt others in school, it can be done, worn, or followed through with in any way that can be done in that manner. Prayer at School - Freedom of Religion
In the United States Constitution the First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” ("First Amendment.”) How is it in a country where freedom of speech is held so sacred, we are unable to read about it in books? Another question might be, why are we unable to protect our children from such harmful materials? These are questions asked by many as we experience censorship on a regular basis. Censorship is mainly focused on books that children and schools are reading in America. The idea of Censorship and book banning is to protect the youth from potentially harmful ideas or thoughts, but some would argue that in doing so it goes against the First Amendment rights.
Back when I was in middle school, I was told the reason behind the no band shirts rule. It is there because musical groups may be seen as idols, and could distract the student from focusing on God. I understand this because it says in the bible that no one should have idols, but I also believe the school is thinking too hard about it. Has anyone is charge ever thought that students might wear shirts with bands on them just because they like their music or lyrics? Music is also constantly used to worship God, and contemporary Christian bands are played before and after Chapel, but we are still not allowed to represent bands.
In the case of Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) the Supreme Court determined that “government violates the Establishment Clause if: it does not have a secular purpose; its primary or principal effect advances or inhibits religion, meaning that regardless of its purpose, the action cannot symbolically endorse or disapprove of religion; or it fosters an excessive entanglement of government with religion.” As school administrator, I would first clarify what the teacher felt the value of including verses in the instruction were. I would tell the teacher I would want to hear her/his side of the story before reporting to the parent. I would ask the following questions: Does the activity or lesson have a secular (non-religious) purpose?
Kitzmiller v. Dover brought up a global attention. The case rose in 2004, when the Dover Area District High School Board tried to add religion to a science class by masking it under scientific gear of adisclaimer promoting the “Intelligent Design”, and it was supposed to be a mandatory part of the school’s biology class curriculum. High School students’ parents sued the school to ban the Intelligent Design from biology curriculum. The trial took six weeks. Judge Jones made his decision by ruling out the Intelligent Design from being considered as science, and by stating that the Board’s disclaimer was violating the First Amendment and the PA Constitution.
Vitale was greeted with conflicting emotions. While some saw it as a victory for religious freedom, some Christians were outraged that the government shunned God by banning school wide prayer. Political and religious leaders have claimed that the case has promoted atheism and that moral values have been undermined by removing religion from public education. These people wrongly believe that the ruling outlawed all prayer in public schools when it prohibits schools from writing or choosing a specific prayer and encouraging all students to partake in reciting it. Even today, over fifty years since the case, the opposition of the ruling continues to rail against the “godless public schools” and complain about how the Supreme Court “kicked God out of the schools.” These critics blame the absence of prayer in schools for tragedies such as school shootings and drug
Alleged communist spies were called forth to give a testimony before a Senate subcommittees. These hearings started to create court dramas that filled the media. Some states created groups that encouraged patriotism to encourage the U.S soldiers fighting against communism in Korea and had began challenging the separation of church and state. Engle v. Vitale was a landmark Supreme Court case because it showed how religion could not be enforced in schools and how 1st Amendment rights could not be taken away. In 1951 the New York board of education approved a prayer that was recited every morning in New York’s public schools.
Though prayer can seem innocent enough, Smiths’ action of praying while performing the duty of a judge violates the establishment clause; seeing how Roger Robber is being subjected to Smiths’ beliefs. As made evident in the 1992 decision in the case of Lee v. Weisman, public schools, which function under the supervision of the government, cannot perform religious invocations and benedictions during a graduation, as doing so violates the establishment clause. A public school sponsoring a prayer at a graduation is considered “excessive government entanglement” when the objective is to create a prayer that is to be used in a formal religious exercise, which students, for all practical purposes are obliged to attend, resulting in a violation of the establishment clause. Going back to Smith, his inclusion of prayers while serving the government shows that there is no separation between church and state. This is a clear violation, seeing how Robber is placed in a highly religious environment, meaning that religious beliefs are likely to take the place of the law and completely disregarding the
The Establishment Clause Thomas Jefferson stated that by passing the First Amendment, Americans had “declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Religion in Public Life Government officials take their oaths of office in the name of God, nation’s coins have carried the motto “In God We Trust”, Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase “one nation under God”, and public meeting open with prayers. Everson v. Board of Education 1947 case involved a challenge to a New Jersey law allowing the state to pay for busing student to parochial school. County determined that the law benefited students rather than aiding a religion directly. State Aid to Parochial School In Board of Education v. Allen the court upheld state programs that provide secular, or nonreligious textbooks to parochial schools. Court has used a three-part test to decide whether such aid violate the establishment clause.