Student Prayer

When is student prayer permissible?

When is prayer permissible in school and when is it not permissible to pray in school, has become a dance in and out of the Justice System. The task of fighting for prayer's permissibility in schools is another step atheists have taken to wipe out all prayers, public and private, in our country.

One of my spiritual mentors comes from Sri Lanka. At the time prayer was taken out of my elementary class in the early 1960's, churches were being outlawed in Sri Lanka. He spoke of Christians being dragged from their houses and beaten, because they dared to pray in their homes. Many were the times, he and his wife prayed under their bed to protect themselves from danger. Chillingly, he stated, "I see the same rights and freedoms being stripped away in America as I saw in my homeland."

Students are allowed to pray before meals and before taking tests. Students may legally pray before school, during breaks, recess, or lunch, and after school. In extra curricular activities, students may pray at events such as "meet you at the pole;" Bible clubs, and prayer clubs organized by students before or after school. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling for schools to hold a "minute of silence," citing that students wishing to pray or not to pray may do so silently.

The U.S. Department of Education in 1998 declared that the student in Baccalaureate Services could express religious sentiment, such as a prayer or Psalm as a personal experience. If school districts allow graduation prayers led by a student, they may do so legally. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to make a ruling on this issue, causing more confusion of the law's interpretation for supporters and opponents of Graduation prayers. Therefore, some lower courts rulings that allowed the student-led prayer during Graduation services still stand.

With the help of our God-given young people and the law firms taking on the legal issues of prayer in school, we are gaining ground in keeping America as a country in which freedoms allow us to pray.

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