You are free to believe however you like. That's what is great about our country. What it really amounts to is being fair. Unlike private schools, public school districts are bound by the Constitution, which forces them into a delicate balance. Board members and school administrators are required to allow personal acts of religious faith but to simultaneously avoid any appearance that religion (or any particular religion) enjoys special status.<quoted text>
Oh Ye of little faith and apparent inability to note the world in which you live in daily. Our entire culture and our institutions stem ultimately from the Judeo Christian concepts codified and brought to life over 2000 years ago. Building upon the foundations of ancient Greece and Rome and through the age of Enlightenment our common culture is one of Western Civilization predicated primarily upon the teachings of the church.
Not even Joseph Stalin or Mao have been able to stamp out that light, no matter how nefariously hard they tried.
The left and the progressives speak mightily of tolerance and inclusion, but only if you will join them in lockstep intolerance for those who are not "true" believers in the cause of the left..
The duty to uphold the Constitution is a fundamental difference between public schools and religious schools. While government-sponsored schools must stay neutral (often called separation of church and state), private schools are not similarly bound. The contrast is stark: parochial and religious schools openly inculcate religion while teaching reading, writing, and mathematics.
A few things are clear under the Constitution, however. These absolutes are what distinguish public schools from their private or religious K–12 counterparts. The bright lines in the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses strike a peace accord that allows believers and skeptics to peacefully co-exist.
School districts may not endorse (or appear to be endorsing) religious activities in school sponsored activities. What that means in practice is that schools may not give special treatment to believers nor special prominence to activities that highlight religion. The Establishment Clause, in other words, is the Constitutional device that prevents public entities like schools from taking sides with the faith-based community. The need for the divide harkens back to the founding of this country, when the potential for religious strife was a real threat to the unity of a new nation.
Free Exercise Clause
• Students can pray in school, if they are not disrupting normal activities.
• Students can be released from class for ritual prayer or leave school early for religious instruction.
• School staff and students can wear religious symbols. Staff items cannot contain proselytizing messages, like “I love Allah and you should too.”
• A teacher may not refuse to teach a portion of the approved curriculum based on religious grounds.
• The Free Exercise Clause is commonly combined with the First Amendment Free Speech Clause to combat “viewpoint discrimination.” Religious speech cannot be treated differently simply because of the subject.
Some summarize the twin Constitutional directives this way: Freedom of religion and Freedom from religion. In recent years that duality has been a magnet for lawsuits. For instance, from 1990 to 2001 the National School Boards Association wrote friend-of-the court briefs in 21 religion cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court or federal appeals courts.
Scholars say the United States is home to more than 2,000 religions and about 400,000 churches, synagogues, and mosques. The public’s schools are a natural battleground, supporting 90 percent of all school-aged children nationwide. The Constitution ensures that every student who receives public schooling has the opportunity to express his or her sincerely held belief, or to be free from the unwelcome pressure to believe at all.