The case Engel v. Vitale in 1962 decided that school prayer is unconstitutional. With this case, it was pointed out that the students were to "voluntarily" recite the following prayer:
"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country." The court ruled that this rule was unconstitutional according to the First Amendment's "establishment clause," which states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." In response to the Engel v.Vitale case some schools adopted a "moment of silence."
In 1963, another case was brought before the court dealing with school prayer, Abington School District v. Schempp. The Schempp family challenged a law in Pennsylvania requiring the students to say ten verses of the Bible before school. These readings from the Bible were declared unconstitutional. Members of the board felt reading the Bible would give the children more moral values. The Schempp family strongly disagreed. Members of Congress attempted to find a compromise. From this effort came the adoption of the moment of silence, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment's "Free Exercise" clause.
Six states now permit silent moments-Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Mississippi,... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Should a Moment of Silence Be Legal in Public Schools?. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Moment-Silence-Legal-Public-Schools-13520.html
"Should a Moment of Silence Be Legal in Public Schools?" StudyMode.com. 10 1999. 10 1999 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Moment-Silence-Legal-Public-Schools-13520.html>.
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