The U.S. Supreme Court hearing arguments about prayer in public school

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case involving prayer and public schools, extending a long debate on the topic. Joseph Kennedy, a former football coach at a public high school in Washington state, would for years pray on the 50-yard line after football games, joined by some of his players. Eventually, the school district asked him to stop, and Kennedy was put on leave after he refused.

2019 Pew Research Center survey explored teenagers’ opinions and experiences with religion in public school, finding that about four-in-ten U.S. teens ages 13-17 in public schools (39%) say they often or sometimes see other students in their school praying before a sporting event. Teenagers in the South are especially likely to report seeing this (56%).

The survey question did not ask about the involvement of teachers or coaches in prayer at school sporting events. Although a relatively small share of public school teens (8%) say they have ever seen a teacher lead a class in prayer, roughly four-in-ten (41%) – including 68% of evangelical Protestants – say they think it would be “appropriate” for a teacher to do so.

Categories: Christianity, Secularism

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