Monday, December 28, 2015

25 Surprising Facts About Religious Rights in Public Schools

From time to time we hear anecdotal stories of the public school systems prohibiting students from expressing their Christian faith. Certainly it does happen, but if challenged, the public schools system often backs down. Also, schools systems often try to purge schools of any recognition of the dominant Christian culture in which we live by doing such things as changing "Christmas break" to "winter break."  Because of a separation of  church and state, school boards do not have to pretend that the school break that happens at the end of the year is not a "Christmas" break.

One reason secularist and politically correct bullies often win is because Christians are so damn meek and mild. Christians do have rights. If you don't stand up for your rights however, you will lose them.

The following list of "25 Surprising Facts about Religious Rights in Public Schools" is copied from an email I received from Tennessee Eagle Forum. Eagle Forum got if from Liberty Institute. To view the 33-page book that contains this list and other information about religious liberty in public schools see the  Religious Liberty Protections Kit for Students and Teachers.

1. Students and educators do have First Amendment religious rights inside public schools.

2. Students can speak about their faith even when teachers must be neutral.

3. Schools cannot treat religious activity differently than other activity.

4. Students can pray during lunch, recess, or other designated free time.

5. Students can pray silently during a school's moment of silence.

6. Students can read the Bible or other religious materials at school.

7. Students can share their faith with fellow students.

8. Schools can acknowledge religion.

9. Students can pray, either individually or as a group, at school athletic competitions, student assemblies, or other extracurricular activities when school officials are not involved.

10. In many cases, a school district can allow student- led prayer before an athletic competition (such as a football game), a student assembly, or other extracurricular event as part of the school program.

11. Students can pray at graduation ceremonies or include religious content in their speeches.

12. A public school can refer to "Christmas" and have a "Christmas party" if the intent is not to advance Christianity.

13. A public school can display Christmas decorations if the intent is to teach and not part of a religious exercise.

14. A public school can include religious Christmas music, art, or drama in a school play or performance if it is used to teach history or cultural heritage and not advance a particular religion.

15. Students can give out Christmas gifts with religious messages at school parties.

16. Students can incorporate their faith or religion in classroom and homework assignments under normal and appropriate circumstances.

17. A public school district cannot be hostile toward religious beliefs.

18. Teachers and other public school employees can discuss religion with students under many conditions.

19. Teachers and other public school employees can discuss religion with other teachers or other school employees.

 20. A public school or a teacher cannot limit religious speech by students unless they limit other speech.

21. Students can have a religious club at their school.

22. Religious student groups can meet on campus whenever other non-curricular clubs can meet.

23. Religious clubs can use the same school resources available to non-religious clubs (e.g., school facilities, bulletin boards, public address system) to promote or facilitate club events.

24. In most states, teachers or other public school employees may attend a religious student group's meetings in a supervisory role.

25. Members of religious student clubs can distribute flyers about meetings and events just like non-religious clubs.

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