Religious Issues

Religious Issues
Grand Canyon University
Legal Issues in Education
May 27, 2015

“One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all…” Way back to the development of public education, the argument over religion has been a stagnant and sensitive debate.   As our world becomes more and more ethnically diverse, individual interpretation of the constitution and laws to live by also become more and more diverse.   According to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.”   Because of this statement, most citizens feel it is within their constitutional right to practice religion or prayer in any setting they choose, including public schools.   Over the recent years, several issues of religion in schools have arisen.   They range from; reciting the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, student vaccinations, and student run religions organizations within the confines of a public school.   These seemingly harmless issues have resulted in countless debates and court rulings over the years.   No two people hold the exact same interpretation of the constitution.   As a result, religion in schools will continue to be an ongoing controversy in the public school setting.   To be a successful school administrator, one must clearly understand the laws surrounding religion, remain objective, and know when to reach out for legal advice when handling issues or religion in school.
  Today, one of the most contentious religious issues in the United States involves the words “under God” being used in the Pledge of Allegiance.   This longstanding debate began all the way back in 1892 when Francis Bellamy drafted the Pledge of Allegiance without the words “under God” (Russo, 2004).   Over the years, many debates have been held over continuing to include the words “under God” in the Pledge of...