Student Religious Expression in School: Is it Religion or Speech, and Does it Matter
Gilbert A. Holmes
University of La Verne - College of Law
University of Miami Law Review, Vol. 49, No. 2, 1994
This Article does not advocate the constitutionality or permissibility of all student religious expression. Instead, this Article suggests that identifying the contexts in which students express their religious beliefs – curricular, ceremonial-functional, and extracurricular – and distinguishing between students' private religious expression and their programmatic religious expression may be a preferable way to determine when student religious expression is constitutionally permissible in public schools. Part II of the Article discusses the development of students' constitutional rights generally and religious rights specifically in the public schools. Part III will define student religious expression and discuss the treatment of it as speech and as religion in the various contexts of public school. Part IV discusses the constitutionality of programmatic and private student religious expression. Part V applies the thesis of the Article to relevant cases.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 54
Keywords: student religious expression, constitutionality, public schools, Supreme Court, freedom of speech, prayer, Equal Access Act, children's constitutional rights
JEL Classification: K19, K39, I28, I29, H52
Date posted: May 24, 2010
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