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Coercive Prayer The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof This amendment commonly called the Establishment Clause forms the foundation of the right of every American to practice their chosen religion freely and without the interference of the government In 1947 the Supreme Court issued a statement emphasizing the separation of school and state based on this amendment Those in favor of the practice of school-organized prayer draw their basis from the belief that students must be taught morals in school and that morals cannot be taught properly without the use of religion Proponents of this viewpoint believe that an ethical code cannot exist without some higher power dictating it to mankind There are flaws in this argument First is the assumption that morals must be taught in public schools Many people hold the belief that it is the duty of the parents and not the responsibility of the school system to teach the students matters of ethics Another mistake is to assume that a moral law cannot be taught without the use of religion There are many logical non-religious reasons for following a moral code that is acceptable to this society If you dont agree to follow the morals of the rest of the citizens you will quickly be incarcerated Students are entitled to the right to express their religious beliefs in school but it is unconstitutional for the administration to endorse or discriminate against any religion Due to this interpretation the practice of coercive prayer is unconstitutional and should be kept forever separated from our nations schools The purpose of public schools is to educate not indoctrinate Schoolchildren are a captive audience How can a grade school student view the routine presentation of prayers during the school day as a voluntary action This invasive
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