The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns freedom to pray in public. President Donald Trump says that students should be allowed to pray. He recently held an event in the Oval Office showing his support for students. He told the group of students and others, “You have the right to pray and that’s a very important and powerfulright.”
Trump has a prayer plan that will protect prayer in schools without changing existing policy. It focuses on “ensuring current protections are understood and enforced.” There is an improved process for students and teachers to file complaints and a request for “educational leaders to confirm they comply with rules related to school prayer.” Trump stated, “We will not let anyone push God from the public square. We will uphold religious liberty for all.”
Even though school-sponsored prayers were outlawed by the Supreme Court in 1962, student can still “pray privately in the classroom and elsewhere on school property.” They can also “reference their faith in homework assignments and form religious clubs.” I wonder how this new “freedom to pray” will affect school activities when students want to pray.
I was in school in 1962 when the Supreme Court reached its decision on prayer. I do not remember the new law affecting my time in school. In fact, I do not remember participating in prayer at any time during my childhood and youth. We did pray in high school in our released-time religion classes, but those classes were not held on public property. Even though there were no school-sponsor prayers in my memory, I feel certain that there were many private prayers being said.