Personal Injury

Debating Church-State Relations and Related Free-Speech Issues

Take Action!—Religious Freedom and Today’s Religious Minorities

  1. Visit the First Amendment Freedoms Edition of Update on Law-Related Education 22.1(Fall 1998): 17 to learn about the special needs of Muslim students attending public schools. If you were a public school principal and a group of Muslim students made these requests, what would you do?
    • a. The students ask to be excused from school on their two main holy days during the school year.
    • b. The female students wish to keep their heads covered with a head scarf, even though there is a no hats policy in the school.
    • c. The students object to coeducational physical education classes.


  2. U.S. prisons have also grappled with the difficulties of accommodating a wide variety of religious practices and even in determining what exactly is a religion. Find out more about this issue in the First Amendment Freedoms Edition (linked above) of Update on Law-Related Education 22.1 (Winter 1998): 9. For example, explore whether a warden has to accommodate the practice of witchcraft in prison or provide sweat lodges to Native American Indians (also visit www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/trapp).

  3. Visit www.nativeweb.org to find out which Native American Indians reservations are within your state’s boundaries. Do the tribes have sacred burial grounds? Have there been controversies in your state over human remains and artifacts found in your state? What happened?

Student Central | Students in Action
Debating Church-State Relations and Related Free-Speech Issues
Established Churches in Colonial Times | Establishment Clause
*Religious Freedom and Today's Religious Minorities*
Santa Fe: A School Prayer or Free Speech Case? | Related Articles/Resources