Student Religious Expression in School: Is it Religion or Speech, and Does it Matter

54 Pages Posted: 24 May 2010  

Gilbert A. Holmes

University of La Verne - College of Law

Date Written: Winter 1994

Abstract

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.

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

Suggested Citation

Holmes, Gilbert A., Student Religious Expression in School: Is it Religion or Speech, and Does it Matter (Winter 1994). University of Miami Law Review, Vol. 49, No. 2, 1994. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1564971 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1564971

Gilbert A. Holmes (Contact Author)

University of La Verne - College of Law ( email )

320 East D Street
Ontario, 91764
Canada

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