1 st Amendment
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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Public school buses can bus parochial school children as a matter of safety (Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township, 1947)
Students can be released from school for religious classes if they are held off school grounds
Must be allowed just as other organizations are allowed (Westside Community Board of Education v. Mergens, 1990)
Schools that teach evolution do not have to teach creationalism (Edwards v. Aguillard, 1987)
State funds can be used for secular textbooks that are used in public and religious schools (Board of Education of Central School Discrict No. 1, 1968)
Remedial Program Funds
Public Funds can be used in church run schools for secular remediation programs (Agostini v. Felton, 1997)
Use of School Facilities
Religious groups are allowed the same access to school facilities as other community groups (Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District, 1993)
No prayer in school (even voluntary) unless led by a students
Although student led prayer at high school football games were not supported b/c it was endorsed by the school (Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000)Religion in Schools
Can display religious Christmas symbols if there are some non-religious symbols, too (Lynch v. Donnelly, 1984)
Congress and state legislatures can open with a prayer led by a gov’t paid chaplain [because it is a deeply rooted historical tradition (March v. Chambers, 1983)]Religion Con’t