The First Amendment and Its Impact on Education

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The First Amendment and its Impact on Education
Patricia Thomas AED/204 Gail Cargile November 4, 2010

Battle over Pledge
Arguments over the Pledge and specifically over the phrase “under God,” have caused people to wonder about the First Amendment stating “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” California has already banned the Pledge in three public school districts due to the reference to God. Public schools are funded by the government and the phrase conflicts with the government’s endorsement of a religion. The phrase “under God” was not part of the original Pledge, it was added in 1954. Some argue that the phrase divides us on a religious basis. Students are not required to say the Pledge of Allegiance or they can say it, and just omit the “under God” phrase while reciting, the Supreme Court ruled in 1943. Battle over the Pledge. Weekly Reader News-Senior, 84 (10), 2. (2005). Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier Database on November 4, 2010.

Stand on Ceremony
Some say that school children understand that the Pledge of Allegiance is a patriotic exercise and not a religious one. Others are under the argument that a prayer in school or at school ceremonies puts the students and attendees in the midst of a religious ceremony. For example, graduation ceremonies typically will make some sort of religious reference whether through a speech or a prayer, but students do not have to attend graduation, they do have to attend school where the debate is over the Pledge. Some are arguing that the Pledge and other examples that are being used to show how religion has made its way into government functions are simply ceremonial and patriotic. Others argue that this interferes with the...
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