Should Prayer Be Allowed in Public Schools?

Allowing prayer in public schools remains a compelling and often heated issue for many Americans. Is a student-led Lord's Prayer acceptable before the big game on Friday night? What about a two-minute "moment of silence" during home room? Of course, this isn't simply a matter of prayer itself but a representation of a much larger, more encompassing topic: Where does the line exist between religious freedom and religious imposition?

no bible thumpers should be aloud to pray to "god" hes fake so get out!

First: If your going to say something that, learn to spell "allowed". Second: How do you know He is fake? Obviously you are not religious, so before you say anything that hurtful or so wrong, go read the Bible. You might learn something important, like, God is NOT fake. SO if you are going to say that God is fake, YOU are wrong. He is very much real!

School, as you know, is a place where people educated to become smart and morality. Some people think that going to school is to get a degree in order of career. How about moral character? This is important. In bible, lots of pieces are the good lessons for people (students). So it's no way to abondon bible stuff.
Lot of people think that bible is just a myth, and we can not see the god. Therefore god is no longer exist and massage from god is fake. Such as human being. bible says the god formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. In evolution, human was evoluated from ape. Lot of people think that evolution is more reasonable and believe it. Human was evoluated from ape, but how about ape? How about the first animal? No wonder from plants or bacteria? So it's not scientific.

If we allow Christian students to pray, you must allow Wiccan students to pray, Jewish, Islamic, Muslim.

You have to allow ALL of them to pray and wear their religious symbols. You have to agree to not frown upon them not participating in group prayer.

If schools would agree to this, then why not?

during this debate is that prayer is, and always has been allowed in the public schools . Children can pray privately anytime and groups are allowed to pray together during free time (Lunch, before and after school ) as long a a few simple rules are observed. Don't disrupt class learning time, don't forcibly proselytize and the teachers cannot lead the prayer.

That really seems simple, and the religious people already have these rights. What they want is a different story. From a majority of these suits that are brought by the Religious involve wanting their prayers used and only their deity prayed to. And they insist the government in the form of the school system help them achieve this.

The ones I have spoken to about this (including candidates for the local school board) agree that it has to be Christian prayer, not Islamic, not Native American, or Pagan. Furthermore, it must be their SPECIFIC kind of Christianity. According to the ACLU, the majority of lawsuits on this subject are brought by one flavor of Christianity against another.

What this shows me, as an observer, is that the prayers themselves are not really the issue. It is the power and control to force one sect of a religion onto the rest of the population as the only one. And that cannot be permitted to happen.

"Politicians should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers so we can identify their corporate sponsors" - Robin Williams

Prayer should be allowed in school . Maybe if it was kept, you wouldn't have kids bringing guns there or teachers sleeping with students . The devil is everywhere in schools like in gossipping, cheating on exams, cursing, lying, and etc but yall wanna cry when we mention God. The devil has made it to where ppl now think its better to be a part of a gang than a church . The devil has tricked a lot of ppl and the result are horrible schools, horrible politics , and just turn on the tv and you'll that we are living in a horrible place. I don't understand how you can say we dont need prayer . Prayer changes everything. I don't care if you believe it or not, that doesnt make it false. We got kids bringing guns, knives, razors, or even using locks in schools but if someone brings a bible then everyone wanna get all upset. Thats why so many school are not achieving like they want because so many kids are being strayed away by gangs or so called popularity groups. Be strayed by the Holy Spirit and see the changes these kids would have.

I think religion is not the primary issue, but one's spirituality. Prayers allow one to communicate with his higher being. Even children pray to seek guidance or wish for something.

Since public schools , unlike sectarian or boarding schools have students of different denominations, teachers should not encourage just one religion. They should instead encourage students to pray according to their own faith.

i am happy to say i share the same opinion,Prayers were held in my school every day and i was glad to do them.for some reason,i felt it was good
Rachel at /

If only we could have prayer in school , what a wonderful world it would be, if only the students and parents were up to the challenge of tolerance and acceptance. Even better if we could teach religion in school . Every couple weeks it could be a different one and learn to pray in different ways; not just Catholicism, Protestantism, or other forms of Christianity, most students get enough of that at home, they need to learn to appreciate Judaism, Islam, the Rastafari movement, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Shinto, Taoism, Wicca, Baha'i, Unitarian, African, American, Oceania and Eurasian indigenous traditional religions, Samaritanism, African diasporic religions, New Age, Esotericism, Mysticism, Scientology, Jainism, Universalism, Manichaeism, Mazdakism, Yazdanism, Zoroastrianism, Caodaism, Chinese folk religion, Falun Gong, Chondogyo, Mohism, Oomoto, Tenrikyo, Legalism, Deism, Discordianism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, Juche, Fellowship of Reason, Humanism, Jediism, Subud and many others even including Parody and mock religions.
So that everyone can learn to pray in their own way, with mutual acceptance and appreciation. Imagine the concept, going to school and learning something new.

Public schools should be places of teaching,not preaching . And furthermore, which kind of prayer is to be used in schools ? The Christian kind, or Jewish,Muslim,Hindu or Buddhist prayer? Or other kinds?
Unlike the distant past,America is now a highly diverse nation,with people who follow many different faiths. Are students from Hindu,Buddhist, and Muslim families supposed to engage in Christian prayer and Bible readings?
And what about students who are old enough to decide that they are atheists or agnostics? Must they also participate in Christian prayer?
America is a "Christian" nation only in the sense that the majority happens to be Christian.
Students may pray freely in church or at home. But school should not be a place for religious indoctrination.

Our country operates under the US Constitution which is the Supreme Law of the Land the colonists of many beliefs, cultures, creeds and backgrounds fought and died for in the Revolutionary war to expel a distant omnipotent British King from interfering in their lives. Let's face it, religion has historically been the crux of most human cruelty and warfare in this world, and our founding fathers were not only acutely aware of these facts, but personally knew how dangerous religion can be to a society if it's not kept in check (see Church of England ).

The primary objective of schooling is to provide children with the tools necessary to go out into the world and support themselves so they will not be a burden upon society, period. Religion is a personal choice that one accepts or rejects, whereby, 98% of children take on the beliefs of their parents. I know for A FACT Christians would be up in arms if they were forced to pray or accept Buddah, so why they have come to believe its OK to force Buddists and others to pray to their religious icon (god) is beyond me. Don't get me wrong , I have no problem with a student conducting a SILENT prayer before a test, eating lunch or easing some stress , but it should never be incorporated into the ciriculum or activities where children of many different beliefs/non-beliefs must go for the sole purpose of obtaining an education .

This is exactly WHY our founding fathers incorporated the first amendment into the "Bill of Rights", so no one religion could invade the freedoms, liberty and rights of others to choose their own beliefs without interference, especially from the government ! Like they say "your rights end at the tip of my nose" and when I go to school it's to learn the three R's, not be subjected to religious dogma.

Fact: Buddist and Islams and Muslims ARE allowed to pray in the schools. They are allotted times during the day to do so . also in the workplaces Muslims lay their carpet down before work during work and before they go home and you get your ethics in an uproar because Christians want prayer , well sister look at the stats: from the 30's tp the mid 70's the crime rate was down since prayer has been an issue in present look at the crime rate among youths should paint a bright enough picture the country was founded ONE NATION UNDER GOD! you dont like it go to iran or any other muslim dominated country see if you keep your head

Buddhist (you spelled it wrong BTW) don't require a certain time to pray. Islam is the religion of Muslims so they are not different. And that is a prayer rug not a carpet.

Now while the Islamic people do get to pray, they do not force you Christians to listen to their prayers. Contrary to your distorted view, Christians are allowed to pray any time they wish in school as long as they don't disturb others, use their prayer as a weapon against others and don't take away from instruction time.

What you are wanting is to force all children to convert to Christianity or at least forced to listen to the Christian prayer. Beside being illegal, if you get time for your prayers then your child will be subjected to Islamic, Hindu, Pagan, Buddhist, Voodun, and even atheist disclaimers of religion in general.

Otherwise you are demanding SPECIAL RIGHTS just for your religion. Which is morally wrong but also unconstitutional. Now as far as being a Christian nation, you have been duped by the Religious Reich telling you what you fantasize about.

"Politicians should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers so we can identify their corporate sponsors" - Robin Williams

There is a time and a place for everything, including religion . Public School is not the place for religion, unless we are doing a Comparative Religions course, in which all views are examined. Prayer is something that needs to be and should be taught in the home, by parents. If you want children to pray at school , there are plenty of Catholic and other private schools available. Otherwise, any discussion of religion should be strictly technical.

If prayer is not allowed in schools

and always has been, either by the individual or small groups. So really the subject is moot.

"Politicians should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers so we can identify their corporate sponsors" - Robin Williams

Pray any where and any time They cant stop you.Life is awesome with Jesus!

..despite fervent claims to the contrary by the so-called "Evangelical Christians ," not only was the United States NOT founded as Judeo-Christian principles, many of the Founding Fathers were not even even Christians at themselves. To wit:

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion , or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech , or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances..” thereby prohibiting the establishment of any religion at all in America.
Even today surveys show that as a nation, the United States is becoming less Christian: .less.christian/index.html

At minimum, the issue of prayer in public schools is in complete contradiction to the principles upon which this country was founded.

I mean theirs a limit but a student-led Lord's Prayer acceptable before the big game on Friday night is voluntary you don't have to pray, and a two-minute "moment of silence" during home room dosen't even have to BE for prayer . The moment of silence could be for those serving your Country, and those who have passed.

i think pray is allowed every were because if some pray in game in work and also in school it should be allow for every one.

The government is not allowed to make any laws regarding religion , neither prohibiting it nor promoting it, due to the First Amendment. There will always be prayer in school, or anywhere else people are gathered. The problem is teacher-directed prayer or "moments of silence". These are wrong. If students or anyone else wish to pray on their own, they must be allowed to do so. But, when the "leader" in the class suggests a prayer or moment of silence, children may feel pressured to go along against their will, and in violation of their rights.

The real foundational issue is that "public schools" are unconstitutional and financed through theft ("taxation"), which causes them to embrace and promote socialism. They MUST be eliminated completely. Education is much too important to leave to the bumbling socialistic fools of government.

I am a Christian and as a christian I would love to see prayer in the public schools.
But!I am a American with freedoms.And as a American I would never set and let any one take my freedoms away.with that said.
If a student whats to pray let him pray in silence.We can not take way your freedoms any more.
As a christain I know there is a pride thing with some.
But we can not push your religion on people.

I believe that if a person should want pray in a manner that does not offend others then yes. However I believe that prayer should not be mandatory or even initiated by public schools or groups in side public schools.

The role of ALL schools should be to teach things that work.

It should be clear by now to everyone that prayer does not work:

- if you pray and what you pray for happens, you say thanks to that god (out of the thousands mankind has invented) that you pray for, ignoring the fact that whatever you wanted to happen might have happened anyway

- if you pray and what you pray for does not happen, you explain that away by saying that (a) you did not deserver it, (b) you did not pray hard enough, (c) the god you are praying to was too busy with other things, (d) the god you pray for is making you suffer because he/she/it has a special plan for your suffering, (e) .. but you never conclude that there is no one listening

Schools are about learning what works. We learn chemistry instead of alchemy and astronomy instead of astrology. So let's stop indoctrinating our children about anything supernatural.

However, all children in the world should - from a young age - learn about all religions of the world, not to teach them about god (gods) but to illustrate how mankind in its early history thought about life and the universe and how different cultures invented different explanations from their perspective that is now completely superseded by scientific discovery.

Time to grow up in our wonderful world that needs no supernatural explanation for anything. The things we already know are well explained by science. What about the things we cannot explain yet? WE ARE WORKING ON IT is a perfect explanation.

Children do not have the intellectual capacity to critically evaluate religious dogma. Teaching religion to children who are not capable of critical thought, should be considered a form of child abuse.

Children believe in magic because they have not been educated enough to know when they are being deceived. Santa Clause can visit everyone's house on Christmas Eve! The Easter Bunny left you chocolate in the back yard! If you catch a Leprechaun, you will get his pot of gold!
The tooth fairy left you free money!

Eventually, the parents come clean on their deceptions on all of these topics except god. The unfortunate side effect, is that as these children grow into adults that cannot unlearn the myths taught to them in Sunday school, and sit on the state board of education in many states.

Is the Earth 14 Billion years old? or 6000? God placed fossils on the Earth just to fool the archeologists into believing in evolution . That Jesus! What a kidder! And god has to spend most of his time red-shifting light from every light source in the universe, just so that our astronomers believe that the universe is 14 Billion years old, rather than 6000. Whew! No wonder he has to rest every Sunday.

So, now we have to seriously debate folks who believe in the literal version of their holy books (because the book says that everything in the book is true!). They will discount and distort easily observed facts, so that their belief system is unchallenged.

Our country needs more people trained in math and science, and yet the education system has to tip-toe around organized religion, and the dogma contained in ancient holy books.

The good news is, the American Religious Identification Survey (2008) indicates more Americans are reaching this conclusion, and freeing themselves from organized religion. It is my hope that the trend away from churches will accelerate. But we must stop the indoctrination process that young children are forced into.

Prayers, wishes, hopes to a god or generic spiritual theme are OK if there is no dogma attached
Can we stop people from wishing, or hoping,? or is it just God the problem?
In the big picture of a FREE SOCIETY --it requires a God concept,a developing conscience and a general plan to enhance and ennoble society; otherwise we must fall under some kind of oppressive control, Note that Godless Russia survived only with ruthless oppression.
My personal thought is, we must start building a God , virtue, and idealism into our society as did our forefathers, Agnostics, atheists,should appreciate the societal value.

I don't believe that anyone is saying that students shouldn't be allowed to pray in school.. in the form of an individual saying grace over lunch or before the start of a test..

The issue is with official prayers read over the loudspeaker or otherwise directly sanctioned by school authorities.

As long as there are cute girls in school; and boys to notice them - there WILL be prayer in schools !

Some people pray out loud; some silently; some facing a direction; others with a chant. The real question is if prayer is allowed in school; will people other than Christians: be able to practice it?

Why can't we have a moment of silence? I can see disallowing vocal prayer. A school is a public institution. It might offend some people. But, say a classmate has died. Would a moment of silence be out of order? And during a moment of silence, cannot some students pray and others reflect?

Prayer should be allowed as long as the students are not forced into doing so. If the student should choose to pray in the school then they shouldnt be repremanded for it. It is wronge to punish a person for their personal beleifs. And on the other side of the spectrum you have all the non-beleivers who would choose not to pray, they shoudnt feel like outcasts because others are praying and they arnt. Students should be aloud to practice thier religous beleife, or lack there of, and not feel like they will get into trouble.

As a student, i think schools should definately support prayer in schools . No amount of teachers and staff can keep students from throwing up a prayer before class or a test or before they eat lunch. As far as a moment of silence during homeroom, I say why not?. Children who don't want to pray don't have to, and those who do can have their concentration to do so. A moment of silence doesnt require students or teachers to pray; Prayer isnt even mentioned in the words, so why make a big deal of it?. I fully understand nonbelievers or nonreligious people who dont pray, but their moment of silence can be used for relaxation or even sleep if they want.

Of course prayer should be allowed in public schools, as long as the students and/or teachers are respecting the people around them. Even if the school decides to ban prayer, they cannot really stop the person from praying. They can stop group prayers and prayer meetings and things, but prayer can be done without anyone knowing. At any school that I have been to, no one is forced to pray. There are special lunch meetings or meetings before school for anyone who would like to attend. Prayer is optional for everyone, but it should definitely be allowed.

Public schools are not there so kids can get together and sing songs and pray about how much they love god.. just so other people know how much they love god. If a student needs to pray, a student can pray. All that student has to do is close her eyes and presto-chango! She's praying. Just because a Muslim student is in school doesn't mean she can't pray at the times her religion mandates her to pray. It just means that schools can not - and should not create specific times for students to pray. That would be taking away from the individual rights.

Moments of silence are fine. What's a moment of silence but just that? Silence.

Students leading prayers before games forces students who don't believe in that religions to not only hear about it, but it loses focus on what the students are there for. Again.. if a student wants to pray, a student can pray.

I do not consider myself to be a religious person. However, I do believe that it is important to provide a safe haven for people to express themselves. As long as prayer is not being forced upon others I feel perfectly comfortable with allowing prayer in schools .
The separation of church and state are very real and should be practiced accordingly. But, this separation may indeed cause schools to shy away from allowing students to express themselves, which is a travesty.
I am a firm believer in the freedom to choose. If student would like to gather and conduct a prayer so be it. If students would not like to take part in the prayer so be it. The key here is to allow a place where the students conducting the prayer would not interfere with the rights of other students to not be involved in the prayer.
Tolerance is tolerance. It transcends communities, religions, and backgrounds. It should not be forgotten and the freedoms which make the U.S. into the great nation that it is should not be deluded in order to pave an ill formed path to other freedoms. The fact is that every freedom and every right is interconnected. The only way to truly visualize the branches which connect is to consider the larger issue. In this case, the larger issue is the freedom of religion.
Public schools or not, people have the right to religious freedom.
Forced prayer is a completely different issue.

The bible says to pray in private. It also says to not use God's name in vain. It's ironic that it is viewed as anti-christian to not want prayer at school and in public venues, to not want "In God We Trust" on our money, and to not want "One nation under God" in the pledge of allegiance because we really haven't earned that claim. Funny I really could care less if people are offended by these things, but I am quite concerned that God might be. As far as prayer in school, I think a moment of silence to allow a private prayer of any type for anyone who wishes to give such is most appropiate.

Thank you.


I constantly hear and read the cliches ( no offense ), "I am not ______, but I don't the ______ should do _______.". Give me a break! Either there is Religious Freedom or there is not. "How long will you waiver between two opinions?" All or Nothing people, there cannot be middle ground. Why? Well, duh, it is this simple: Religion is a structure of beliefs that influence everything you do, think, and say. It by definition must be NUMERO UNO in all areas of life. Saying a student or a teacher can't pray is a OBVIOUS VIOLATION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! WAKE UP AMERICA, PLEASE!

Michael Byrd

I would like to state that no one ever said they couldn't pray. Even Teachers are allowed to pray at school. But no one should be allowed to lead outloud prayer unless in a room specifically designated for them to do so by the school's Principal and Board.

Throughout the history of the United States of America, we have lived life the way we wish, without people telling us how we should or should not live, for this is a “free country.” We have freedom of religion, something that should not be denied or taken for granted. Having traveled to many nations throughout the world, and seeing and hearing about the ways religion affect a society, I think it is important to be thankful for the freedom of religion that we have here within the United States.
Personally, I think that prayer in public schools should be completely allowed. I believe that regardless if you are Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, if people feel inclined or led to pray then great. I don’t think people should feel forced to participate in these, and that if they don’t want a part in it, than don’t participate. However, if prayer is going on and someone is opposing it, respect becomes a factor and people need to learn to respect others regardless if they agree or disagree with what is going on.
Honestly, if there are non-religious people leading the prayers, then I don’t think the purpose of prayer is being walked out, and I think its hypocritical and gives a bad name to whichever religion is being exalted/demonstrated.
However, I think denying students the freedom to express their spirituality is wrong and unconstitutional. I am not saying that everyone should have to partake in the prayer meetings, or moments of silent, but at least if there are these events happening, people, regardless of what religion, should respect the other people participating in religious activity. Offense is a choice a person takes, as a result of a contradicting feeling or opinion of someone else. It has to do with insecurity and pride. The question becomes do students in public schools today have enough respect for themselves? When they don’t respect themselves, how do we expect students to respect those around them?
Prayer in school is freedom. Are we a country that allows its citizens to walk as freed people?

Prayer has always been allowed; as long as it's private (See Matt 6:6 -- ".. when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.")

And group prayers? As long as they are voluntary (really voluntary) and not disruptive, then they are as innocent as a group discussion about sports.

The question is should schools sponsor prayer? No. That violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

As the ol' bumper sticker says: If you don't pray in my school I won't think in your church.

The answer to whether or not prayer ought to be allowed in schools is an emphatic yes. The answer to whether or not prayer ought to be compulsory in our schools is an emphatic no. There are abundant irrational disagreements but, freedom to worship is also and necessarily freedom not to worship. We agree that one ought to be free to exercise one's individual rights, or we do not. There is no half measure here.

Individual rights are undeniable. Liberty comes with only one condition - you receive the liberty you grant to others, you are denied the liberty you deny to others.

As I understand it, public schools are provided to serve all students equally. Those who wish to pray must be free to do so - provided they do it with respect for those who do not. Those who do not wish to pray also must be free to abstain - provided they do so with respect for those who do. What religion one practices and how one practices it - provided one shows respect toward others in the process - is outside the authority of schools .. and outside the authority of government, hence, separation of church and state.

Something that was alluded to earlier really needs to be reiterated. This question is a tad silly, because if a student wishes to pray in school, whether it is permitted or not, he/she can! If a student prays silently to themselves, there is no way that anyone would ever know, so the student couldn't possibly be punished. It is my understanding that true religious faith is not dependent on reciting specific words or making showy expressions of faith. Anyone who argues for prayer in school must ask his or herself why it is so important to let everyone know what God he/she believes in by making a production out of their relationship with that God. Like it or not, this country is composed of a wide variety of religious beliefs, and especially when children are involved, we need to be mindful of the possibility that others may not be comfortable with our own.

The question asks whether voluntary, student-led prayer in public schools is permissible. This is clear from both the question and the adjoining description. The Interfaith Alliance responds to this question from the perspective that compulsory, teacher-led prayer is impermissible, but this isn't what the question asks. As evidenced by the responses made by the Rutherford Institute and the IA, both are in agreement that student-led prayer is permissible and teacher-led prayer is, Constitutionally-speaking, impermissible. The responses by the IA should be placed in 'yes' category.

See, for a teacher to permit the interruption of One religion's prayer would be unlawful. If they were to permit a Christian group to pray, then they would have to let the Buddhist and Pagan groups pray too. And a question I dare to pose, what about Satanists? There was no such thing as Satanists until the Catholic and Christian religions came along. For one to be a Satanist, they have to worship the devil of another religion. So technically speaking, Christians and Catholics and Buddhists and Wiccans and all Pagans are Satanists for the simple fact of, the people we call Satanists worship our devils, which means we worship theirs. If anyone can argue otherwise please do. I constantly visit the religious pages, especially this one.

The debate that's happening in the real world is over teacher-led, often compulsory prayer. The Rutherford Institute is defending the easy ground while ignoring what policies people are actually attempting to enact. You could just as easily argue that the Rutherford Institute arguments should be placed in the "No" category if they do not defend the teacher-led prayer that's happening all over the country.

As if a kid can't pray at home before and after school..
And before dinner, and bed time, and all day on Saturday, and then Good heavens you've got all day on Sunday to pray yer little hearts out!
By the time Sunday is over, God's just got to have had a belly full of "I want this, I want that, and grant me this and grant us that"
I bet, even God doesn't want prayer school.. he needs a break from the mundane and banal. And, if the kid is praying for good grades, God is probably say'n to the kid, "No way kiddo! you didn't study the chapter on Evolution, and it's one of my favorite and greater creations, and I don't award good grades for no effort!" So, you see, prayer won't work anyways.

1) You basically just insulted the Christian God. 2) While I do believe in no help from God without the putting out of effort on the worshipper, I do not believe as stated in a previous reply, that prayer in the Christian religion is about asking for good things that you want, but for the forgiveness of our trespasses and for the well being of those around us. IT is for spiritual protection, forgiveness, and for some it is a way to keep their heads high in this dismal world.

if hes god im pretty sure he can take it..

first praying is not asking good for things like i want a bike i dont want braces its asking god for forgivness. and second catholics dont spend there whole weekend in a church praying its only one hour. one hour out of 48 is not alot. ok so i think giving five minutes up a day during school as prayer time where everyone prays in there heads i think would be ok.
i go to a private catholic school and at school we pray three times it not that much and only takes up like 5 minutes total for the whole day