POLS 621 - Discussion Questions

POLS 621 - Discussion Questions - Discussion#1 The Milsap...

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Discussion #1 The Milsap Heights Public School holds an annual Christmas pageant. An angry Milsap Heights resident telephoned the local American Civil Liberties Union and complained that tax dollars were being used to promote religious beliefs. The ACLU director attended the Christmas pageant and agreed that the program was "one of celebrating Christian teachings about the birth of Jesus." The ACLU director sent a letter to the superintendent of schools asking the school district to discontinue the program. You are an attorney for the ACLU. What legal arguments would you make to explain your client's position that the public school should not be allowed to sponsor a Christmas program which focuses strictly on Christian teaching about the birth of Christ? You are an attorney for the school district. You agree that the current program format is unconstitutional. Your client has asked you to advise as to whether there is any manner in which it could continue offering a Christmas program without infringing on civil liberties. What suggestions would you make? Discussion #2 A local parent group (Parents for Christian Teaching) has approached the school board in your community asking permission to start a "Freewill School Prayer Program." The program would be non-denominational and would strive to teach children to be both good Christians and upright American citizens. PCT has asked the school board to provide a meeting place on each campus in the school district for 15 minutes prior to the start of the school day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the entire school year. PCT would encourage teachers, school personnel, parents, and students to attend the sessions. Attendance would be voluntary. Christian volunteers would lead the program which would follow the following format: pledge of allegiance, Bible reading, prayer requests, and prayer for fellow students and their families, teachers, administrators, school board, community, state, and nation.
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