I go to high school in a small Texas town, and we have something called "meet you at the poll". It's just a crappy christian gathering in front of the school around the flag poll. Now, they sometimes use the intercom to announce it (which I know is illegal because it is government property being used to communicate the event and next time this happens I will bring it to the principal and school board), and there has also been group prayers before some sports games led over loud speakers (which when it happens I will bring it up as well).
These things don't seem to be a big deal to ANYONE in my small town except myself. Yep, you guessed it, there is ONE church for all ~2,300 townspeople to worship so it doesn't bother them. Anyone else in small towns seem to see this same trend of the town being subconsciously ran by the church?
(and believe I'm the only atheist in my town, so if your around North Texas, pm or email me, cuz I would love to chat about the area!)
Okay I looked into this more and if I was the school I would say it was a student club.
Read this for a little more info on the subject
Is a very good source as well:
|Each club must have equal access to meeting spaces, the PA system, school periodicals, bulletin board space, etc.|
The best way to deal with these people is to beat them at their own game in my opinion. If you start an Atheism club you will become the biggest thorn you could ever be in their side. You could then demand PA use which they could grant or they might stop allowing the meeting at the pole people to use it to avoid the problem all together. The moment they try to stop you from forming the club you can bring some major heat on them and the prospect of having to cancel football in a Texas town unless they allow an Atheism club will be a huge deal and they would rather allow a few of us godless folk meet in a room then cancel the games. My question would be though is during the use of the PA system do they pray or read scripture or do they just provide information of when and where the meeting takes place? This would make or break your argument on PA system use if they use it to pray or to read scripture this would be a big problem but if its just to announce the time and location of a meeting etc its a pretty good bet that it would be allowed you also have to remember that laws are going to mean different things to different judges and what they believe the intent of the law is. I think you can make more headway over the football game if the praying is being led by a coach/employee or someone in an official capicity. The way they can get around it is if a student or group of students led a prayer on their own in the stands since that would be protected speech. I'm with you over how annoying it can be so don't think I'm not on your side I'm just trying to see what the other sides argument would be.
Send an email to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, as well, this is their forte. Student lead prayer outside of class on school grounds is legal, the flagpole meetings before class won't be an issue. Use of the PA system may be an issue, staff or faculty involvement is strictly prohibited. Prayer at football games has been successfully challenged a number of times in the last couple of months.
I had a business in a small Canadian town that was run by church leaders, predominately the Catholic priest. I remember objecting to the fact that the local hockey team had a 'team pastor', to the horror of some customers. They said, "Well, he's not a priest and doesn't push the baptist stuff, so it's non-denominational." I said, "Yeah, but the team prayers invoke the name of Jesus either way - how would that make a Jewish kid feel?" These ladies burst out laughing and chortled, simultainiously, "Jews don't play hockey!" I just had to shake my head and walk away.
In a way, I am now hoping that another one of these religious activities take place illegally (using the PA system and at games) so that I can not attack my school, but so that I can expose what is happening in my town, because at the moment I have no evidence or anything to back me up other than my voice.
Is student led prayer at graduation illegal? As in a valedictorian or salutatorian giving a prayer during graduation? What about including the words "god" instead of religion?
I remember reading somewhere that even the word "god" is illegal?
The whole idea of banning prayer or religious teachings in public schools is to protect people who do not want it. If everyone in the entire community actually has the same beliefs no one could be offended by the activity therefore it really couldn't be considered illegal. In your case their actions would be illegal because it offends you! You have to decide if you really want to stand up to the whole town on this issue.
That statement is patently untrue. The law is the law regardless of how many are or are not offended by it. It may go unreported and find itself not upheld in cases where an overwhelming majority choose to behave illegally, that does not make their behavior any more legal.
This is academic. There has to be a complaint before any action will be taken. In a situation where no one is bothered by the praying or preaching there will be no complaint made.
It's illegal to break the law, whether or not the people in that locality support that law.
There has to be a complaint for any number of violations, rape, theft, and battery all come to mind, before anyone can do anything about it. Does that mean that no one is harmed by those crimes? This is not theoretical or philosophical discourse, the issue is concrete and I find your attitude appalling. Laws are not made to punish, but to protect, and constitutional law not only protects, but also projects, a way of life. The entire body of case law stemming from the establishment clause is in place to protect people from suffering this kind of exclusion, if someone has to make a complaint and seek redress then the law has failed its purpose.
Get real this is not about rape. Look, I understand what you're saying but we are talking about a situation where no one is being excluded. There is no victim if everyone thinks the prayers are just hunky dory. If everyone in a community have the same religious views who are the laws protecting? In other words, if no one has been raped no rape laws have been broken.