Religion in United States Education

  • "ye Old Deluder Satan"

    First public schools established because mankind could only achieve salvation by reading the bible.
  • The New England Primer

    Printed in Boston by Benjamin Harris, the New England Primer was a widely used in public schools because it used a combination of alphebet study, and Bible reading. When students mastered it (usually this took a couple of years) they would move on to reading and learning from the Bible.
  • Northwest Ordinace

    The Northwest Ordinace outlines regulations for the government of territories in the western expansion who wish to establish statehood. In this article it reads,"Religion, Morality and Knowledge being good and necessary to good government and the happines of mankind, School and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."
  • School children can not be made to stand and Salute the flag.

    The United States Supreme Court ruled that schoolchildren could not be made to salute the United States flag if doing so conflicted with their religious beliefs
  • Everson vs. Board of Education

    The Court held that government "can not pass laws which aid on religion, aid all religions, or prefer on religion over another."
  • One Nation Under God

    President Eisenhower signs a bill into law adding, "one nation under God" to the pledge.
  • Engel vs Vitale

    The Supreme Court rules that "children may not recite state written prayer in school."
  • Murry vs Curlett, Abington Township School vs Schempp

    In a consolidated case, the Supreme Court ruled against the reading of the Bible in schools, and the reciting of school prayers.
  • Epperson vs Arkansas

    The Court held that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a state from requiring, in the words of the majority opinion, "that teaching and learning must be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any religious sect or dogma."
  • Lemon vs Kurtzaman

    The Supreme Court announces a three-part test to evaluate Establishment Clause Claims. They are as follows: (1) whether an act has a “clear secular legislative purpose”; (2) whether its “principal or primary effect . . . neither advances nor inhibits religion” and; (3) whether it fosters “excessive government entanglement with religion.”
  • Wisconsin vs Yoder

    The Court held that under the First Amendment children could not be made to go to school beyond 8th grade if iterfered with their right to religious freedom.
  • Stone vs Graham

    The Supreme Court held tha the Ten Commandments can not be posted in classrooms. Their reasoning is that they have no secular legislative purpose, and are therefore violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
  • Wallace vs Jaffree

    The Supreme Court held that an Alabama state law allowing silent school prayer was unconstitutional and a violation of the Establishment Clause based on the first prong of the Lemon Test.
  • Lee vs Weisman

    The Supreme Court held that members of the Clergy can not lead prayers during graducation ceremonies.
  • Santa Fe Independent School District vs Doe

    The Supreme Court ruled that a policy permitting student-led, student-initiated prayer at high school football games violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.