Tags: supreme court | ruling | prayer | public schools | facts

Supreme Court Ruling on Prayer in Public Schools: 5 Facts About Historic Cases

By    |   Monday, 24 November 2014 08:25 PM

A century ago, teachers and administrators in American classrooms used to lead students in prayer. While it was an accepted practice, it was not without controversy. Many thought offering the opportunity for children of other faiths to silently opt out of the exercise was inclusive enough, however a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on prayer in public schools said it was unconstitutional.

ALERT: Should Prayer Be Allowed in Public Schools? Vote Now

Here are five other facts about historic school prayer cases.

1. The first time Bible reading was ruled unconstitutional was in 1890: A group of Roman Catholic parents decided to fight about which version of the Bible was appropriate for use in school. The Wisconsin Supreme Court said neither in the Weiss v. District Board case. The U.S. Supreme Court did not take up this case.

2. A prayer in New York caused the first U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on prayer in public schools: Even though it was the middle of the Cold War, a non-denominational, optional prayer known as The Regent’s Prayer got caught up in the 1962 case of Engle v. Vitale. This brought the first anti-prayer decision from the Supreme Court ruling on prayer in public schools. The court ruled that the school-sponsored prayer violated the establishment of religion cause in the U.S. Constitution.

VOTE NOW: Do You Support Prayer in Public Schools?

3. School religious activity must pass something called the lemon test: This test came out of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Lemon v. Kurtzman. In the 1971 case, the court ruled that a three-pronged test has to be passed for religious involvement in public schools. Is there secular purpose for the activity? Does the activity actively promote religion or inhibit religion? Is the “entanglement” between church and state “excessive?”

4. The Supreme Court put two cases together to rule against the Lord’s Prayer and the Bible: The School District of Abington Township v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett were heard in 1963. The Supreme Court ruled that teachers were not allowed to lead prayer or Bible readings even if the activity is optional.

5. Despite all the restrictions, teachers and students CAN pray in school: The prayer must be voluntary, and cannot give any impression that the school administration is organizing or directing it. While the Supreme Court ruling on prayer in schools became even wider in the 2000 case of Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, it also opened up room for individuals to express themselves. There are many circumstances in which students are allowed to pray at school or on school grounds. They have equal rights to religious activity in the same manner of any club. Teachers may participate in a volunteer manner as long as it is clear the participation is not part of their official capacity as a teacher.

URGENT: Should Students Be Allowed to Pray in Public Schools? Vote Here Now!

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
Theses are some of the historic cases on prayer in public schools on which state or national Supreme Courts have ruled.
supreme court, ruling, prayer, public schools, facts
Monday, 24 November 2014 08:25 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved