Establishment Clause In Schools

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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. Furthermore, the Establishment Clause aims to protect this notion that, no citizen should feel alienated from his government because that government has declared some official or authorized point of view on a matter of religion.…show more content…
“Whether a government activity violates the Establishment Clause is “in large part a legal question to be answered on the basis of judicial interpretation of social facts. Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe 530 U.S 290, 315, S.Ct. 2266, 147 L. Ed. 2d 295 (2000). Every government practice must be judged in its unique circumstances.” Id. School prayer body of law governs cases when religious activities are taking place in a school setting. Id at 310. A school setting could be seen if public officials have some degree of control over the event in question, which could include, but is not limited to, sporting events, ceremonies, or classrooms. Id at 310 (Holding that student prayer body of law applied when students were at “football games”); see also in Lee, 505 U.S at 588 (Holding that student prayer body of law applied when students were at “graduation ceremonies”) Is this right. Other characteristics of a school setting could include attendance of students, students participating in extracurricular activities, presence of school officials, the school owns the property or the school sponsors the event. Santa Fe, 530 U.S at 303; 311; see also in Lee, 505 U.S at 585. Additionally, a school setting could be seen even if students are not physically in a classroom. Santa Fe, 530 U.S at 301. If the event in question is being held outside the classroom or after hours, a school setting can still be satisfied if the event taking place is held under discretion of school officials. Id. Thus, a student prayer body of law applies to this present case not only because Mr. Pitstick’s a student of the school, but because these board meetings took place in a school
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