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Debating Church-State Relations and Related Free-Speech Issues

Take Action!—Establishment Clause: Here’s How to Understand It!

  1. Learn whether the public school in your area allows student religious groups to use school facilities for religious activities. What other groups are allowed to use school facilities?

  2. What proposals or laws does your state or community have on school vouchers? Ask three adults what their views on school vouchers are and why.

  3. Santa Fe excited much debate as the nation waited for the Supreme Court’s decision. Familiarize yourself with that debate, as well as additional resources to help you understand the issues involved, by visiting

  4. While the school voucher issue hasn’t reached the Supreme Court, debates about it are ongoing all over the nation. Find out more about school vouchers, see some important related resources, and hear experts debating the issue with these resources: “Looking at the Law: School Voucher Plans Raise Key Church-State Issues” and

  5. Conduct online research into President George W. Bush’s view on (1) allowing school vouchers or (2) providing faith-based institutions with public monies to support social services. Do you agree or disagree? To get you started, go to this site that describes President Bush’s proposal as presented during the first week of his administration.

  6. Go online to the Web site of two or three specific religious faiths to determine what the organized religion’s viewpoint on prayer in public schools. How might the viewpoints of these faiths differ? To get you started, here’s the site for the National Catholic Education Association

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