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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Impact of the First Amendment of Education

The Impact of the First Amendment of Education

The Constitution is an amazing document that has helped create the society we live in today. The First Amendment has a huge impact on all of our everyday lives, but what some may not realize is that it also directly affects education.
A key educational issue that is related to the First Amendment is the separation of church and state because the first amendment states that no laws endorsing a religion shall be passed. This issue impacts education because the pledge of allegiance is said in many schools, and God is referenced in this pledge. It is argued that public schools are funded by the government and the use of God in public schools is illegal according to the First Amendment.
Another educational issue posed by the First Amendment is the issue of prayers before sports events. This issue impacts the classroom because some students might find it relevant to have a prayer before a sports event, and the first amendment states that the government may not prohibit the free exercise of religion. It is also arguable that the prayer, as is the pledge of allegiance, is tradition. Schools may argue that the ceremony before a sports event is solely up to the students, and the choice of action is the student's prerogative which makes it not the power of the school. The school may argue that they are not endorsing religion and the act is not unconstitutional. This issue is also controversial because the first amendment guarantees people the right to practice their religion.
Like the last educational issue posed by the First Amendment there is also an issue with prayer during graduation ceremonies. This issue impacts education because endorsement of religion by a school violates the First Amendment. This action also raises an issue about religious discrimination because the First Amendment states that freedom of speech is a right of all people and freedom of religion as well. This argument impacts education because it is a contradictory subject, but allowing students to choose whether or not they will say prayers during graduation is constitutional, where as, requiring that they pray would violate the constitution.
Another key element in the First Amendment that impacts education is the ability of people to petition the government when they feel laws are unjustly passed. In many cases this First Amendment right has led education to change. For instance the ability for students to choose whether they say the pledge of allegiance and for some schools to have the pledge of allegiance removed from school curriculum.
The right to assemble is another First Amendment right that has impact on education; due to this right many people have had the ability to form groups that fight against issues in education. This right has helped in the battle against having the pledge of allegiance removed from school curriculum because parents have assembled and taken the issue to court. The right to assemble is also an important issue in education because it allows parent teacher associations to exist and it allows parents and teachers to have an impact on their children's education.
The First Amendment plays many roles in education, but it also causes many controversies in education. Although the First Amendment causes some issues in education to be hard to judge; it also provides people with the ability to challenge these ideas and improve on education overall.

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