Reflecting on Religious Expression and School Prayer Essay examples

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This country is comprised of individuals from various ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic groups, sexual orientations, and faith traditions. Whether it relates to race, class, religion or any other category where one resides in the dominant group, it is tempting not to become oppressive and fail to show mutual respect to the diverse cultures and beliefs of other groups. Furthermore, as educational leaders, we must be equipped with knowledge around policies related to the above mentioned, so that we can enforce such and build upon those that need refining.
In reflecting on religious expression and school prayer, it is important to realize the current legal issues and policies that should inform the regulation of such within the context of the school. Organized prayer in the public school setting, whether in the classroom or at a school-sponsored event, is unconstitutional. The only type of prayer that is constitutionally permissible is private, voluntary student prayer that does not interfere with the school's educational mission. Students have the right to engage in voluntary individual prayer that is not coercive and does not substantially disrupt the school's educational mission and activities. For example, all students have the right to say a blessing before eating a meal. However, school officials must not promote or encourage a student's personal prayer. Students may engage with other students in religious activity during non-curricular periods as long as the activity is not coercive or disruptive. In addition, while students may speak about religious topics with their peers, school officials should intercede if such discussions become religious harassment. It is essential that private religious activity not materially disrupt ...

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...e of the tools mentioned above. Once the teaching staff develops such and understand the need of promoting such, it will be easier to collectively find ways to integrate small activities into the academic programs and overall school day. Many acts of injustice are sometimes rooted in ignorance, thus one of key ways to eradicate ignorance is to educate.

Works Cited

School Dist. of Abington Township, Pa. v. Schempp, 374 U. S. 203 (1963);Engel v. Vitale, 370 U. S. 421 (1962).
Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U. S. 38 (1985).
Everson v. Board of Educ, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)
Sante Fe Indep. Sch. Dist v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290, 302 (2000)
Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools. U.S. Department of Education, 2003.
Zinn, Howard (2005). A People's History of the United States: 1492-present. Harper Perennial Modern Classics.

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