The Importance Of Prayer In School Speech

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Claim: A student at the school, where I am the principal, has been hit by a car over the weekend. I will do everything in my power to calm and comfort my students. In the case of the student council asking to say a prayer over the loud speaker, I will have to turn them down. I will explain to the students that we are legally not allowed to offer prayer over the loud speaker, as it forces all students to hear the prayer, and could disrupt their work or offend their religious beliefs. I will instead offer the students an alternative. Over the loud speaker I will inform the student body of the accident and offer a moment of silence. I will tell all students and teachers that the moment of silence can be used for quiet reflection, quiet prayer, …show more content…
Schools are prohibited from interfering in students freedom of religion, and are not allowed to show favoritism towards one religion, which could happen if prayer were permitted on a school wide basis.
• Our country was founded on religious freedom, and this perspective has roots in the First Amendment to the Constitution, with its declaration that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (Pg. 87) The Establishment clause was meant to keep big government from making laws that would hinder religious freedom. However, these restrictions were later extended to state level government as well.
• In a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson, he mentions, for the first time, the seperation of church and state. Jefferson wanted to avoid government involvement in determining what individuals believed and how they worshiped and lived their faith. (Pg. 88)
• “In McCollum v. Board of Education (1948), the Supreme Court prohibited using school facilities and class time for instruction in a particular faith tradition, even when participation was voluntary.” (Pg.
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Even if schools were allowed to lead a group prayer, in our diverse society it would be impossible to include all beliefs, without offending anyone. This is why I see the moment of silence as an appropriate alternative to school led prayer.

• In 1962, the Supreme Court in Engel v. Vitale struck down a New York State Board of Regents requirement that public school students begin each school day by reciting a presumably nonsectarian prayer. (Pg. 92)
• “__the court in Abington v. Schempp (1963) declared unconstitutional any devotional Bible reading and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, even if those for whom such were not acts of worship were excused. (Pg. 92)
• “By 2010, religious pluralism rendered it impossible for education or any other dimension of the public sector to presume that a majority shared common beliefs and values-or even a common religious sensibility.” (Pg. 98)
• The Moment of Quiet Reflection in Schools Act offered a legal alternative to prayer in school because it does not force students to pray, or hear prayer. Students are offered a moment of silence that can be used as they wish, as long as they are quiet.

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