Research Papers On Prayers In Public Schools

Research Papers On Prayers In Public Schools-32
And individual districts like School Board 29 in Queens allow a moment of silence as well.

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I told them, ' Jesus Christ loves you so much, it would be mean for you to turn him down without giving him a chance.' "At Greenville High School in Greenville, S.

C., the head football coach, Larry Frost, asks an assistant to say a prayer and lead the team in reciting the Lord's Prayer before every game.

But critics say the push for organized school prayer is eroding the separation of church and state established by courts interpreting the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.

That clause was put in the Constitution to prevent the religious persecution in Europe that many American colonists came here to escape.

The American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Pat Robertson, estimates that 12,000 Bible clubs are operating in American public schools.

People for the American Way, a civil liberties group, says 60 to 70 percent of Americans respond favorably to the idea of prayer in school. "Students are praying whether they're officially allowed to or not."One of Student Venture's suggested activities is "prayer triplets." In a handbook called "Mobilizing Students to Pray," it describes the program as follows: "Prayer triplets are groups of three students praying together, three times a week for three non-Christian friends each, for three groups on campus and for one another."Much of the activity is private and voluntary and within constitutional guidelines.On Friday the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, came to the opposite conclusion in a similar case from Idaho.The ruling in the Texas case, which applies only to the three states in the circuit, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, led to a flood of student-generated measures to include prayers in school activities.Another state where prayer frequently is an issue is Utah, where 70 percent of the population is Mormon.All 40 school districts in Utah have guidelines against school prayer.And in Round Rock, north of Austin, Tex., a superintendent who issued a directive prohibiting prayer over the public address system at football games and other school events was removed from office after members of a Christian group were elected to the school board.There are laws mandating a moment of silence at the beginning of the day in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.But, particularly in the South, religious clubs, prayer groups and pro-prayer students and community groups are making religion and prayer part of the school day.At Louisa County High School in Louisa, Va., for instance, lunchtime prayer meetings on the steps outside the school's band room were organized last year by Tenille M.There is Mississippi, where the dismissal of a school principal, Bishop Knox, who had allowed students to read prayers over the intercom, led thousands of students in 15 Mississippi counties to walk out of class in his support last year.The state has since passed a law permitting "nonsectarian, nonproselytizing, student-initiated, voluntary prayer" at school events.


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