Prayer In Public Schools Case Study

Words: 801
Pages: 4

Background “The First Amendment has two provisions concerning religion: the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. The Establishment clause prohibits the government from establishing a religion. The precise definition of establishment is unclear. Historically, it meant prohibiting state-sponsored churches, such as the Church of England” (First Amendment and Religion, 2015).
Starting with Engel v. Vitale (1962) the U.S. Supreme Court used the Establishment Cause of the First Amendment to ban school sponsored prayer in public school. This case centered on the New York State Board of Regents approving one of its prayers to be read at the start of the day in New York public schools. It was determined that the prayer, although voluntary, was an endorsement of religion by the state and that the government should not be composing prayers for any groups of society.
In Lee v. Weisman (1992), the U.S. Supreme
…show more content…
This student was the elected student council chaplain. In 1995, a group of current and former students along with their mothers filed a suit challenging this practice under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. While the suit was pending, SFISD adopted a new policy that authorized two student elections. The first election was used to determine if there should be a “message or invocation” before each varsity football home game, and the second election to select a student, the spokesperson, who would deliver the “message or invocation”. After the students elected to have a “message or invocation” and a spokesperson, SFISD court modified the policy that permitted only nonsectarian, nonproselytizing prayers (Kemerer and Sansom, 2013, p.261). The Fifth Circuit Court ruled that this policy was invalid and SFISD appealed the ruling to the US Supreme