Jun 25, 2012

Fifty-Year Anniversary of School Prayer Decision

Fifty years ago in Engel v. Vitale, the Supreme Court held that a state could not compose a prayer for students to recite in public school classrooms.  Regardless of whether Christians agree with the Court’s decision, most agree that, as a result of the decision, too many public school officials mistakenly began to prohibit most religious expression on public school campus.

As a result, the Christian Legal Society took the lead in restoring the right of Christian students to meet for prayer and Bible study, before and after school in empty classrooms like other student groups.  For almost thirty years, the Equal Access Act of 1984 has done yeoman’s work protecting this basic free speech right.  

CLS also joined numerous other groups to draft guidelines regarding religious expression in the public schools to help school administrators navigate these tricky waters.  These guidelines were adopted by both the Clinton and Bush Departments of Education. 

Please pray today for Christian students, parents, teachers, and administrators to have wisdom and courage in expressing their faith in their daily walks in public schools.  Please pray today for Justice Clarence Thomas and his work on the Supreme Court.

This post from Kim Colby is the fourth in a series during the Fortnight for Freedom.  I appreciate Kim guest blogging this fortnight!  MS

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