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Freedom of Religion - Part 1

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• A federal district court in the State of Washington ruled that a public high school's refusal to permit students to meet on school premises for Bible study and prayer did not violate either the Equal Access Act or the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom. Under the Equal Access Act, a public high school having a "limited open forum" may not deny access to school premises to any noncurriculum-related, student-initiated groups on the basis of the religious content of their speech. Schools create a limited open forum by allowing any noncurriculum-related student groups to meet on school premises during noninstructional hours. This law, concluded the court, did not apply in the present case since the school had not created a limited open forum. While several student groups met on school premises, all of them were curriculum related and school sponsored. The court also observed ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1988