Celebrate, no. "Teachers should strive to conduct their classes in an inclusive manner so that students can participate fully without compromising their own personal beliefs," wrote FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert to Superintendent Kane. We’ve teamed up to bring educators a series of five webinars about religious diversity in the classroom. Science Teacher Cannot Display Religious Material in Classroom ... and that he did not display his personal Bible to his students. Inside this kit, you will find real, helpful facts and legal information regarding your religious rights as a student or teacher. In our increasingly diverse and multicultural society, it’s more important than ever for teachers to incorporate culturally responsive instruction in the classroom -- whether teaching elementary school, middle school or high school students. Furthermore, consider this simple fact: Students will look at their own work more frequently than they will look at commercial materials. No. understanding among students, teachers, parents and the broader community that the First Amendment does in fact provide ample room for religious expression by students while at the same time maintaining freedom from government sponsored religion. 1. With older students, you can have them predict what a chapter will be about based on the pictures from the opening page. (Practices outlined in Teaching Tolerance’s Critical Practices for Anti-bias Education can help teachers create classroom environments that reflect diversity and support students’ religious identities.). Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Even so, public schools should exercise caution in choosing to put out these symbols. The Supreme Court has held that the Christmas tree is a secular symbol of the holiday season; therefore, the display of a Christmas tree in the school lobby, temporarily, does not violate the Establishment Clause. Religious Symbols in Public Places The issue: What rules should govern the placement of religious symbols in public places? Can teachers or other school employees participate in student religious clubs? There are several ways in which children can be involved. Probably not. Schools can: Information… We have included two different sized booklets for printing to suit your display needs. The main goal of a religious studies program (in most cases) is to help you understand the world’s various religions, as well as their relationships to culture both in the past and in the contemporary world. Religious Messages: Schools may not permanently display religious messages like the Ten Commandments. Schools can place some restrictions on what students can wear, but they can't single out religious clothing. Can a teacher in a public school display a personal Bible on a desk? Stone v. Graham (1980). However, if you use social media to comment about students, school or other work-related matters, or you use it to engage in what might be considered conduct impairing your functioning as a teacher, the First Amendment may not protect you." What does religious content look like in an academic setting? Yes. In the case before the Supreme Court, the student could either call out his/her score or walk to the teacher’s desk and reveal it in confidence, though by that stage the score was known at least to the one other student who did the grading. Teachers can, though, wear non-obtrusive religious jewelry such as a cross or Star of David. It is up to you which one you choose. So when is it OK? The question of “display” versus instructional use can be especially complex in art and music classes. Keeping Christ in America’s Public Schools, Seminole: Christian Law Association. Religious music and art can be included as part of classroom instruction, but it is the teacher’s responsibility to make the connection to academic content clear, to refrain from and confront any form of proselyting or denigration of the religion or the adherents of that religion, and to include art representing multiple religious and secular worldviews. Information… We have included two different sized booklets for printing to suit your display needs. Teachers can, though, wear non-obtrusive religious jewelry such as a cross or Star of David. Much of the world's great art involves religious themes and imagery. School-sponsored displays of religious symbols, texts or artwork on school property are impermissible unless a display is integrated into an appropriate secular curriculum. Can a teacher talk about her faith with her students? 3. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, many students and families associate them with religions and religious holidays that not all members of the school community observe or celebrate. The question of “display” versus instructional use can be especially complex in art and music classes. Instructional aids, in this context, are objects referenced during instruction to help students understand a particular religious heritage. They may, however, display religious symbols in teaching about religion, as long as they are used as teaching aids on a temporary basis as part of an academic program. Religion in teaching has been allowed as long as it is objective. Teaching about religion and referencing religion when teaching other academic subjects presents many fine lines educators must maneuver—but they’re important and necessary lines to navigate. The assignment will be displayed in the classroom. 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