50 WORDS EACH REPLY TO EACH QUESTIONS
For our third and final forum of the week, I decided to take the schools defense. According to Engel V. Vitale, the state cannot hold prayers in public schools, even if the participation is not required. However, the fact is the coach had no intention of praying. The coach intended on saying a pep talk not a prayer. Additionally, the coach did not make the team reply with the Amen or attempt to solicit a response from them. Since the coach did not tell the players to pray, direct them in any way, solicit a response, or intend to pray, he did not meet the Engel V Vitale case law. Therefore he did not violate the clause. Additionally, the response by the students was of their own accord.
Since there was no coercion by the coach which violated the case law of Lee v. Weisman, and the coach did not endorse any specific religion in violation of the case law Lynch V Donnelly, the coach/school did not violate the establishment clause.
APUS, Week 3 Lesson, (2019) retrieved from:https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studies-common/Universal/LSTD/301/elf/lesson-3/elf_index.html
Engel V. Vitale, (2019) Retrieved From: https://www.oyez.org/cases/1961/468
According to this week’s reading, (AMU, n.d.), the two clauses of the First Amendment are the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. Both of which concern the relationship of government to religion. Both of these clauses were intended to serve common values. Cornell Law School (n.d.) describes Establishment Clause has prohibiting the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion”. This forbids the government and government actions from pushing a religion to someone and from declaring and financially supporting a national religion. The Establishment Clause causes there to be a separation between the church and state.
By representing the family I would argue that the student initiated this religious speech which does violate the Establishment Clause and the First Amendment. The public school boards must not advance or endorse religion. Because Sam led the prayer in school ground and was not stopped alluded to the perception that the U.S. School District endorsed such activities that revolved around the Christian Religion. In the case of Santa Fe School District v. Doe, the school district was sued because of student-led prayers that took place in school grounds. The court concluded that the school district was in violation of the Establishment Clause. Regardless if the vast majority of the football team considers themselves to be Christian, this is still in direct violation of what the Constitution states. Due to the religious differences that has been displayed of the mother being Muslim and the school/members being majority Christian could create a division among the school
AMU. (n.d). Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. “Introduction to the Establishment Clause. Retrieved from https://apus.intelluslearning.com/v3/coursewidget/923/#/document/132382233/1ca52c
AMU. (n.d.). Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. “Student-Initiated Religious Speech”. Retrieved from https://apus.intelluslearning.com/v3/coursewidget/923/#/document/132382233/1ca52c
Carlos, M.D. (2017, June 3). Establishment Clause. Retrieved from https://ww.law.cornell.edu/wex/estbalishment_clause
Cornell Law School. (n.d). First Amendment. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment
USERID43. (n.d). School Board Prayer- Freedom from Religion Foundation. Retrieved from https://ffrf.org/faq/state-churchitem217-school-board-prayer
In this scenario, I have chosen to represent the School District. The fact is that the individual, Sam Jones, was giving a pep-talk to his team before the game. Sam and Sam alone prayed, he did not lead the team in prayer, he did not ask everyone to bow their heads nor did he tell the team he was going to pray. He did this on his own accord. Just like the rest of the team did when they said “Amen” after he was done. The Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses state that “Congress will not make a law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. “ Essentially, this means that the government will not establish a national religion. It was believed that the government should stay away from religious matters and that everyone had the right to practice any religion they desire. In the case Engel v. Vitale, the Supreme Court ruled that reciting a prayer in public schools was a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. In this case, it was deemed that teachers leading students in prayer was unconstitutional, however, it was also deemed that an individual praying or a group of students praying was not unconstitutional and does not violate the First Amendments rights. In this scenario, there was no formal prayer or any of the students reciting a prayer, the student, Sam Jones, was simply exercising his right to freedom to exercise his right to pray based on his own religion. The coaches nor any faculty member lead the team in a prayer and neither did the student. Sam jones was in his right to pray, and this was not put on by the school district nor did the school district know that this student would pray before the game. Free Exercise and Freedom of Religion in the First Amendment were written for all religions, even a majority religion such as Christianity. In this scenario, the student who prayed did not have the team recite any type of prayer nor did he provoke any of the team to listen or pray with him. The whole team said “Amen” on their own accord.
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