The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from establishing religion, is fraught with controversy. Over the years, many different conclusions have been drawn from the text of the Establishment Clause and those differences have only grown more pronounced and divisive over time. And, of course, public schools are a well-established battlefield in the Establishment Clause wars. Accordingly, it is reasonable to assume school administrators will be fielding questions based on the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Town of Greece, New York v Galloway, et al., Case No 12-696 (May 5, 2014), which held public prayers at town council meetings did not violate the Establishment Clause.
Galloway arose from the town counsel’s practice of inviting local clergy to open regular meetings with a prayer. The town’s population was overwhelming Christian and so was its clergy. Thus, all the prayers were offered by Christian clergy. Some were non-denominational while others were clearly Christian. Plaintiffs sued, claiming the town’s practice violated the Establishment Clause. Read more here.