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School Prayer

A Guide to Selected Government Information Available at WIU's Government Publications Library


Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.


Federal Government Information

Voluntary School Prayer Constitutional Amendment

This hearing discusses a proposal to allow prayer in school and includes the legislation as well as testimony given by members of the Senate. 1983
Y 4.J 89/2:S. HRG. 98-1127

Religious Freedom Protection

A hearing before a subcommittee of the House of Representatives and a call for the clarification of the First Amendment that would give freedom for religious practices in public places. 1996
Y4. J89/1: 104/123

A Constitutional Amendment for School Prayer

A hearing on a proposed constitutional amendment for school prayer which includes relevant newspaper articles, testimony, and court cases. 1985
Y4.J89/2: S.HRG. 99-386

Prayer in Public Schools and Buildings- Federal Court Jurisdiction

The topic of this hearing is how far federal court can restrict or allow prayer in public schools and buildings. Cases, testimony, and specific laws are given. 1980
Y4. J89/1:96/63

Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Restoring Religious Freedom

This hearing considers a constitutional amendment (H.J. Res. 78) to allow school prayer and to remedy discrimination against religious expression. 1997
Y4.J89/1:105/94

Religious Freedom Amendment

Congressman Istook's website introduces H.J. Res. 78 (see above) and offers additional facts and websites relevant to prayer in school.

The Secretary of Education's Statement on Religious Expression

This website features a speech by the U.S. Secretary of Education regarding guidelines on religious expression in public schools and presents his published guidelines entitled "Religious Expression in Public Schools" (August 1995).

Religion and Public Schools

This website of the U.S. Department of Education offers guidelines, publications, and resources on religious expression in public schools.

Religion in the U.S. Public Schools: Developments: Year 2000 to Present

This website offers recent court cases, negotiations, and state laws from news papers and networks throughout the U.S. of developments of prayer in public schools.

Legal Information

"Sixth Circuit Holds that Opening School Board Meetings With a Prayer is an Establishment of Religion"

An analysis of and a disagreement with the Coles v. Cleveland Board of Education 1999 decision, in which opening a school board meeting with prayer was disallowed.
Harvard Law Review. Vol. 113 No. 5 March 2000 pp 1240-46

"Religious Freedom in the 21st Century: Life Without Lemon"

An article exploring religious issues relating to the "Lemon test", the Establishment Clause, and the uncertainty that now exists in this area of law. The decisions in Lemon v. Kurtzman and all post-1992 Establishment Clause cases are examined.
Southern Illinois University Law Journal. Vol. 23 Spring 1999 pp. 657-91

Religion and the Law

This dictionary on law and religion presents definitions, cases, and history. Legislative efforts regarding school prayer from 1962 to 1998 are explained. 1999
LEGL REF KF 4865. A68 A54 1999 pp. 306-311

The Separation of Church and State

As part of the Exploring the Constitution series, this volume (specifically, chapter 2) examines the historical debate over prayer in school and summarizes case decisions. 1994
LEGL REF KF 4865. A7 M36 1994 pp. 11-34

School Law: Cases and Concepts

A collection of precedent-setting court opinions on a variety of educational legal issues. Chapter 2 features a section entitled, "Religion and the Schools" and covers school-sponsored prayer and Bible reading. 1999
LEGL REF KF 4118. L25 1999 pp. 28-56

A Digest of Supreme Court Decisions Affecting Education

A comprehensive volume of summaries of education cases decided as of December 1994. Chapter 2 focuses on church-state relationships in education. 1995
LEGL REF KF 4114. Z57 1995

"Constitutionality of Regulation or Policy Governing Prayer, Meditation, or 'Moments of Silence' in Public Schools"

A collection of court cases dealing with prayer in public schools.
110 ALR FED 211

The Law of Schools, Students, and Teachers In a Nutshell

This book presents a concise treatment of education law, including a chapter on religion in schools. It discusses prayer in school or in school-related activities, silent meditation, Bible reading, and government support of religious schools.1995
LEGL REF KF 4119.3.A43 1995

"Between a Rock and a Hard Place: the Emerging Question of Prayer at School Board Meetings"

Commentary on whether prayers should be allowed at school related functions such as school board meetings or graduations in light of Coles v. Cleveland Board of Education. 2000
West's Education Law Reporter Vol.137, pp.423-439
KF 4110.A2 W47 V.137

"Prayer in School: Can a Solution be Found?"

This article examines the prayer in school debate and the difficulty the courts have had in reconciling the issue. 2000
West's Education Law Reporter Vol. 138 pp. 597-618
KF 4110.A2 W47 V.138

"Student Choice and Graduation Prayer: Division Among the Circuits"

This article looks at three post-1992 court decisions involving student choice and graduation prayers. 1999
West's Education Law Reporter Vol. 129 pp. 553 -563
KF 4110.A2 W47 V.129

School Law Handbook

As part of a look at First Amendment rights of public education students, the landmark cases involving school prayer and moments of silence are explained. 2000
LEGL REF KF 4118 .P 58 1998 v. 1 pp. I - 1:1 to I - 1:35

Education Law

This seven-volume set is an exhaustive source of school law information and includes issues involving school prayers, benedictions, and moments of silence. Extensive case law is provided. 2002
KF 4119 .R36 v. 4 section 11.02[10][b][i] et al.


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