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Prayer In Schools

             Every form of religion attempts to communicate with their higher power in some way. Prayer is the only form of communication with a higher power. The Muslims pray three times a day facing their city of Mecca. Christians commonly pray before meals, during quiet times, or before going to sleep at night. A wide variety of religions are present in the public school system. The government has decided when and where prayer is appropriate and if it is appropriate in our schools. To fully understand this issue, prayer in the school system should be examined. Throughout American history, prayer has occurred in public schools both inside and outside of the classroom.
             In the case Engel versus Vitale in 1962, prayer inside the classroom was abolished. In this case, the Supreme Court voted that prayer in the classroom was unconstitutional. Along with this case, a similar case involving the School District of Abington versus Schempp in 1963, banned prayer along with Bible readings in the classroom. One report brought up the argument that " since 1963 there have been no prayer or Bible readings in our public schools yet schoolchildren commonly recite The Pledge of Allegiance" (Viteritti). The Pledge of Allegiance is a famous American passage and includes the phrase "one nation under God". Many Americans were concerned that children were still reciting such phrases in the classroom and consequently the Pledge of Allegiance was banned. In 1987, Attorney General Edwin Reese was accused of "muddying the waters" on school prayer. Turner Rose felt that Reese was a supporter of the official school prayer but in fact he was not. The Director of Public Affairs in Washington, Terry Eastland states, "Neither the United States nor any state shall compose the words of any prayer to be said in public schools" (Eastland). A Kentucky law that required the posting of the Ten Commandments in all public school classrooms was declared unconstitutional in the case of Stone versus Graham in 1980.

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