Religion in Public Schools

By RCBruch
  • Zorach versus Clauson

    "Released-time" programs during school hours for outside-of-school religious instruction have been held to be constitutional by the Supreme Court.
  • School District of Abington Township versus Schempp

    A curriculum that teaches about a religion without focusing on or advocating religious devotion or doctrine meets the first litmus test of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.
  • Lemon versus Kurtzman

    Separation of church and state requires that government action or legislation in education must clear a three-pronged test:
    1.) It must not have a religious purpose
    2.) Not have the primary effect of enhancing nor inhibiting religion
    3.) Not create excessive entanglement between church and state
  • Florey versus Sioux Falls Schools

    Playing a holiday music medley representing various religions and the season's observances is permissible.
  • Equal Access Act

    Religious groups that are voluntary and student initiated may meet on school premises.
  • Jager versus Douglas County Schools

    School officials, including coaches, may not ask an athlete or student to lead a prayer before, during, or after an athletic contest.
  • County of Allegheny versus American Civil Liberties Union

    Religious symbols may be used as teaching aids in the classroom, but cannot be used as holiday decorations.
  • Westside Community Schools versus Mergens

    The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Equal Access Act and declared this federal statute did not violate the First Amendment.
  • Lee versus Wiseman

    The Supreme Court ruled that an invocation and benediction at commencement by a clergyman was unconstitutional.
  • Sease versus School District of Philadelphia

    The Supreme Court disallowed a gospel choir that advertised itself as sponsored by the school district and was directed by the school secretary.
  • Doe versus Madison School District

    Commencement exercises were deemed as a forum for student expression, including expressing of religious freedoms.
  • HB 398: New Hampshire

    Prayers, such as 'The Lord's Prayer,' could be led by students but not imposed on them.
  • John Doe versus Duncanville Independent Schools

    Clergy members may not offer prayers before or after athletic events.
  • Illinois Federal District Court

    Prayers during commencement exercises was blocked. Prayers must be approved by a faculty member before recited.
  • Altman versus Bedford Central Schools

    Constructed images of a Hindu diety, which was a course requirement, violates First Amendment rights.