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Giving Compass' Take:
• Travis Mitchell at Pew Research Center reports on religion in public schools and shows how some forms of religious expression are relatively common.
• How are religious students treated differently in public schools? Does the school choice movement promote equity in public education?
More than 55 years after the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling striking down school-sponsored prayer, Americans continue to fight over the place of religion in public schools. Questions about religion in the classroom no longer make quite as many headlines as they once did, but the issue remains an important battleground in the broader conflict over religion’s role in public life.
Some Americans are troubled by what they see as an effort on the part of federal courts and civil liberties advocates to exclude God and religious sentiment from public schools. Such an effort, these Americans believe, infringes on the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.
Many civil libertarians and others, meanwhile, voice concern that conservative Christians and others are trying to impose their values on students. Federal courts, they point out, consistently have interpreted the First Amendment’s prohibition on the establishment of religion to forbid state sponsorship of prayer and most other religious activities in public schools.
Read the full article about religion in public schools by Travis Mitchell at Pew Research Center.