In 1908, for example, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that school officials could suspend two students for writing a poem ridiculing their teachers that was published in a local newspaper.The Wisconsin court reasoned, “such power is essential to the preservation of order, decency, decorum, and good government in the public schools.” And in 1915, the California Court of Appeals ruled that school officials could suspend a student for criticizing and “slamming” school officials in a student assembly speech. deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law . .”, it was not until 1925, by way of the Supreme Court case of Gitlow v.The Court applies the Establishment Clause more rigorously in public schools, mostly for two reasons: (1) students are impressionable young people, and (2) they are a “captive audience” required by the state to attend school.
Or may government support religion as long as no one religion is favored over others?How can school officials determine when they are violating the Establishment Clause?This means that public schools may neither inculcate nor inhibit religion.They also may not prefer one religion over another—or religion over nonreligion. By “neutrality” the Supreme Court does not mean hostility to religion. Neutrality means protecting the religious liberty rights of all students while simultaneously rejecting school endorsement or promotion of religion.Earlier in our history, however, the First Amendment did not apply to the states—and thus not to public schools. This meant that when public schools were founded in the mid-19th century, students could not make First Amendment claims against the actions of school officials.
When adopted in 1791, the First Amendment applied only to Congress and the federal government (“Congress shall make no law . The restrictions on student speech lasted into the 20th century.The meaning of the Establishment Clause, often referred to as the “separation of church and state,” has been much debated throughout our history.Does it require, as described in Thomas Jefferson's famous 1801 letter to the Danbury Baptists, a high “wall of separation”?The students then sued, claiming a violation of their First Amendment rights.At the time that the students sued, Supreme Court precedent painted a bleak picture for their chances.But not until 1943, in the flag-salute case of West Virginia v. The Barnette case began when several students who were Jehovah's Witnesses refused to salute the flag for religious reasons.