Student rights to religious expression and the special characteristics of schools

Educational Theory 62 (1):59-74 (2012)
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In this essay Bryan Warnick explores how rights to religious expression should be understood for students in public schools. Warnick frames student religious rights as a debate between the conflicting values associated with the Free Exercise Clause and the values associated with the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. He then asks how the special characteristics of the school environment should guide us in prioritizing those values. The overall weight of the considerations, particularly concerns about civic education, leads to a two-pronged approach to religious rights. The first prong involves a robust protection of student religious exercise; the second involves an equally robust regime of school disassociation from student religious exercises



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