Religion and Student Expression: Discussion Questions

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, High school, First Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 3 (1046 words) Published: January 16, 2014
Read the case study "Religion and Student Expression" found on page 47 of your text and answer the related discussion questions listed on page 47. Your answers should be numbered and your response to each question should include case citations, statutes/laws, or authority that supports your position. Each answer should contain your understanding of the law, as it relates to the question that has been posed, as well as the legal authority and analysis you used in arriving at your answer. Your answers should be comprehensive and reflect an understanding of the problem presented and the legal resolution. The cumulative/total word count for part 1 is 500. 1.No. According to Lofaso (2009, pg 98), “at least one lower federal court has reasoned that “any action of the state which, either directly or indirectly, conveys that religion, or a particular type of religion, is more accepted, respected, or tolerated than another value system has the potential to subtly coerce students to acquiesce to the promoted religion.” In other words, a public school system may not display any image or allow any type of speeches regarding any religion, as some of the students may be swayed to think that particular religion is better than others.

2.As in the case of Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Supreme Court states that children of impressionable ages may not be subject to any type of religious influence. Since school age children are considered to be of an impressionable age, the school would not be allowed to display the artwork or allow the speech referring to Jesus.

3.If the school allows either of the art display or the speech, they run the risk of being sued by affected individuals. In summarizing Lofaso (2009, pg 98), if any type of religious memorabilia is displayed, these such items may influence or sway a student into believing that one religion is superior over another. The First Amendment gives people freedom of religion and speech, but it does not allow government...

References: Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971).
Lofaso, A. M., (2009). Religion in the Public Schools: A Road Map for Avoiding Lawsuits and Respecting Parents’ Legal Rights. Retrieved from
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