Jump directly to the content

Prayer in School Board Meetings

Court rules that this practice does not violate the First Amendment.

Key Point. The first amendments nonestablishment of religion clause does not prevent all accommodations of religious practice. Prayers before meetings of governmental or public bodies are an example of a practice that has been upheld by many courts.

A federal court in Ohio ruled that a school boards practice of opening each meeting with prayer did not violate the first amendment. The administration of Cleveland's public schools has been characterized by divisiveness and rancor among board members and superintendents for most of the past two decades. Often, meetings of the school board would be filled with so much hostility among both members and the attending public that little business was accomplished. The citizens elected several new members in 1991, and the new board president immediately announced that board meetings would "henceforth begin with prayer." At the very next meeting, ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
  • July 1, 1997

Related ResourcesVisit Store

50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
A review of state laws and court decisions affecting church leaders.
Your Complete Guide to Virtual Church Meetings
Your Complete Guide to Virtual Church Meetings
A toolkit for legal and compliant business meetings
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Learn which local, state, and federal laws apply to religious organizations.
Church Governance
Church Governance
What leaders must know to conduct legally sound church business.