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Constitutionally Protected Prayer

In order to receive federal funds, a local education agency (LEA) must annually certify in writing to its state education agency (SEA) that the LEA has no policy that prevents or denies student and staff participation in constitutionally protected prayer in its elementary and secondary schools.

Some student activities that fall under constitutionally protected prayer include

  • praying during non-instructional time, such as during recess or lunch;
  • reading religious texts during non-instructional time;
  • praying before meals; and
  • forming prayer groups or religious clubs that meet before or after school.

Staff members also are permitted to meet with colleagues before school or during lunch for prayer or religious study groups. Teachers are not permitted to engage in those activities with students.

Students also may express their religious beliefs in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments.



Article by Ellen R. Delisio
Education World®
Copyright © 2005 Education World