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TitleLiving, reading and thinking; 56 essays in exposition
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.2 MB
Total Pages207
Table of Contents
                            Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
Introduction
Concerning Students
Key Cases Supporting Student Rights
Letters and Guidelines
Concerning Teachers, School Staff, and Officials
Key Cases Impacting Rights of Teachers in Public Schools
Concerning Curriculum
Cases That Permit Teaching about Religion and the Bible in Public Schools
Concerning Outside Community Volunteers
Key Cases Regarding Volunteers
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

MAKING SENSE OF RELIGION

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Page 103

Cases Involving Religious Speech by Coaches

Doe v. Duncanville Indep. Sch. Dist., 70 F.3d 402 (5th Cir. 1995).

A coach may not actively pray with his team before a game because such
conduct would be an establishment of religion even if the students had initiated
the prayer. However, the coach could exercise deference or respect during any
student-initiated prayers before a game.

Braswell v. Board of Regents of University System of Georgia, 369 F.Supp.2d
1362 (N.D.Ga. 2005).

A university cheerleading coach was reprimanded and placed on probation
after a team member complained that she injected religion in her coaching,
prayed with the team, and favored Christian members over non-Christians. The
coach sued and the court determined that the school was within its rights to
respond to the student’s complaint as it did. Note that such policies are not
required.

Page 104

Cases Involving Teacher Participation in Student Religious Activities

Board of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990).

In response to numerous complaints that public schools were discriminating
against student religious clubs, the United States Congress passed the Equal
Access Act (“EAA”) in 1984. The Act is included in the student section. The
Court ruled that a school may not prohibit or deny equal access to student Bible
clubs when other non-curriculum-related student groups are permitted to meet.
However, teachers may only participate in student Bible clubs in a supervisory
capacity.

Daugherty v. Vanguard Charter Academy, 116 F. Supp. 2d 897 (W.D. Mich.
2000).

The court held that teachers could be present at SYATP events as long as
their presence was one of “custodial oversight” and “merely to ensure order and
good behavior.” (Quoting, Board of Educ. of Westside Community Schools v.
Mergens, 496 U.S. 226, 253 (1990)).

Sease v. Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia, 811 F. Supp. 183 (E.D. Pa. 1993).

The Equal Access Act does not permit a school employee to participate in a
student religious club, and the employee does not have a free speech right to
participate.

Quappe v. Endry, 772 F. Supp. 1004 (S.D. Ohio 1991), aff’d., 979 F.2d 851 (6th
Cir. 1992).

The court prohibited the club meetings of elementary school students
immediately after school because a teacher was heavily involved in leading the
meeting and in recruiting students to attend. Wigg v. Sioux Falls School Dist.
49-5, 382 F.3d 807 (8th Cir. 2004). A school could not bar a teacher from
attending an after-school Bible club even at her own school because she was
acting as a private citizen on her own time.

Page 206

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