The Impact of Religion in Public Schools

Topics: Religion, Prayer, First Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 3 (898 words) Published: November 14, 2013

Essay 4
Religion in Public Schools
The debate of whether religion should be allowed in public schools has been going on since the late 1940’s. There have been several court cases regarding the issue, and a full compromise has yet to happen. In a country where freedom is supposed to be the law of the land, what is right? Should people have the freedom to be away from religion if they so choose, or should students of a public school be able to freely come together in prayer. I believe if a child wishes, he or she should have the right to practice all forms of religion inside a public school. I think as a nation with freedom of religion, our children should be able to freely practice their beliefs. I believe children who don’t should be able to opt out of religious courses, and a non-mandatory prayer should be held at all public schools. Living in America, it sounds absurd to tell someone they may not pray inside of a public school, but it has already happened. The court case Engel v. Vitale deemed it unconstitutional to have an official school prayer and to encourage reciting the prayer. The article “Our Father In Heaven” states, “The struggle to accommodate one person’s right of religious expression while not infringing on another person’s right to be free from religious coercion has existed since our Founding Father’s first drafted the Bill of Rights” (Bennett, and Foldesy 1). I agree that the school should not be able to make someone participate. Prayer, however, is not a bad thing, and if a school wants to have a scheduled prayer than they should be able to. It is the child’s choice if he or she wants to participate, so the prayer itself should not be banned. Those who do not wish to be a part of prayer or religious classes should always have the choice not to participate. Although religion has been thought to be beneficial, no one should be forced to go along with something they do not believe. Religion should not be forced or pushed on...

Cited: Bennett, Tom, and George Foldesy. “Our Father In Heaven”: A Legal Analysis of the Recitation of The
Lord’s Prayer by Public School Coaches.” Clearing House: A Journal Of Educational Strategies,
Issues and Ideas 81.4 (2008): 185-189. ERIC. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.
Feinberg, Walter. “Teaching Religion In Public Schools: Review of Warren A. Nord, Does God
Make a Difference?. “Educational Theory 63.4 (2013): 431-438. Academic Search
Complete. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.
WEXLER, JAY. "Some Thoughts On The First Amendment 's Religion Clauses And Abner Greene 's Against Obligation, With Reference To Patton Oswalt 's Character "Paul From Staten Island" In The Film Big Fan." Boston University Law Review 93.4 (2013): 1363-1371. Legal Collection. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.
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