this was a part of a HyperDoc I made on The First Amendment and Freedom of Religion: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B-u_ZyiWF64beWUdx-UlGaDz_2wz2wTzXxo53n1MgBY/edit?usp=sharing
You may work with a group or partner.
Read the first amendment description below, discuss the first amendment, and try to answer the questions that follow.
Discuss what you think the following mean:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”
"... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
The basic principles about religion in education were developed as part of the Williamsburg Charter, a document signed by over 200 religious and educational leaders at the bicentennial in 1976. Read the Basic Principles of Religion and the First Amendments (The 3 Rs):
In "Rights": The meaning of the word "conscience." As defined by The American Heritage Dictionary, it means "conformity to one's own sense of right conduct."
In your own words, what do you think the first R, " Rights: Religious liberty is an inalienable right for all. Public education must make every effort to protect the conscience of every parent and student", means?
In "Responsibility": The meaning of the term "civic responsibility" means addressing social problems in an informed, committed, and positive manner -- is not an intuitive process.
In your own words, what do you think the second R, "Responsibility: As American citizens, we have a civic responsibility to guard that right for every person, including those with whom we deeply disagree", means?
In "Respect": The meaning of the word "civility." As defined by The American Heritage Dictionary, it means "courteous behavior; politeness."
In your own words, what do you think the third R, " Respect: All parties involved in public schools should agree to debate one another with civility and respect, and should strive to be accurate and fair", means?
Complete the EdPuzzle lesson and answer the discussion questions that follow.
What challenges might prayer cause for practicing at school or at work? (Possible answers: Having to stop at specific times to pray; not having privacy.)
DiscussONE of the following:
1. Is it constitutionally appropriate for public schools to lead students in religious activities? Why?
2. What about those students who have no religious beliefs? How would that affect them?
3. What are some instances in which public religious practices or references might violate some people's conscience?
(Note: Teachers can, for example, allow students to pray, but may not lead them in prayer. The establishment clause in the First Amendment also protects those with no religious beliefs.)
Protection of the right to pray, as well as protection from coerced forms of prayer, are First Amendment issues that often create controversy in schools. With a partner or in a group of three, read and discuss the following scenarios. How do these relate to freedom of religion? Whose rights, if anyone’s, are being threatened or violated?
Do you agree with the teacher's action?
What do you think should be done?
Do you think the reading of this poem is justifiable?
Do you agree? Why or why not?
What do you think?
Source: PBS Learn Source
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