Can students pray in U.S. public schools?
THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER:
The Trump Administration’s education and justice departments, after work with government attorneys, issued policy guidance to public schools January 16 on this emotional-laden and oft-misunderstood issue. The answer is well settled in American law and agreed upon by a very wide range of religious and public education organizations.
Yes, if a student initiates prayer and does not disrupt classes. Students also enjoy other religious rights on an equal basis with non-religious activities, as surveyed below. But the answer is no if public school systems, administrators or teachers authorize prayers in an official capacity. Federal court edicts say that violates the Constitution’s ban on government “establishment of religion.” (Private schools, of course, can do whatever they want about religion.)