Unit 1

Assignment Requirements

Topic 1:
Read the case study “Religion and Student Expression” found on page 47 of the text and answer the related discussion questions listed on page 47. answers should be numbered and response to each question should include case citations, statutes/laws, or authority that supports your position. Each answer should contain your understanding of the law, as it relates to the question that has been posed, as well as the legal authority and analysis you used in arriving at your answer. Your answers should be comprehensive and reflect an understanding of the problem presented and the legal resolution.

Topic 2:
Read the case study “Use of Facilities by the Community” found on page 47 of your text and answer the related discussion questions listed on page 47-48. Your answers should be numbered and your response to each question should include case citations, statutes/laws, or authority that supports your position. Each answer should contain your understanding of the law, as it relates to the question that has been posed, as well as the legal authority and analysis you used in arriving at your answer. Your answers should be comprehensive and reflect an understanding of the problem presented and the legal resolution and include a minimum of two cites/references.

500 word minimum and 2 references for each topic using the attached file as the questions and case background.

Chapter 2 • Religion and the Public Schools

 

47

CASE STUDIES

Topic1:

Religion and Student Expression

Jean Riley is the principal of a small elementary school in a metropolitan school district. One of

her best teachers asked her first-graders to make a poster depicting things for which they were

thankful. One student made a poster expressing thanks for Jesus. Posters were displayed in the

school’s hallway. The student’s poster was removed but later returned in a less prominent place.

The next year, the student was chosen to read a story to the class. The student selected an adap-

tation of a biblical story.

Discussion Questions

1.

Should the student be permitted to read his biblical story? Why or why not?

2.

What is the legal issue surrounding both the poster and the biblical story?

3.

What legal risks does the school incur (if any) if it permits both of these activities?

4.

What legal risks does the school incur if it denies both of these practices?

5.

How would the courts likely rule on this case? Provide a rationale for your response.

 

Topic 2:

Use of Facilities by Religious Groups

Gayle Dixon is the principal of a midsize metropolitan high school. The school maintains an

open forum, thereby allowing noncurricular groups to use facilities during noninstructional

times, including student religious groups. A Bible club has requested the use of school facilities,

but Dixon learned that the club’s charter allows only Christians to be club officers. In her mind,

this provision of the charter is discriminatory. Based on this provision, she rejected the club’s

request to use school facilities. The club filed suit.

 

Discussion Questions

1.

Does the club have legitimate grounds to file suit? Why or why not?

2.

Is Dixon justified in rejecting the club’s request to use school facilities? Why or why not?

3.

Does the Bible club have the right to specify that only Christians may be club officers? Why or why not?

4.

If you were the principal, would you handle this situation any differently?

5.

How do you think the court would rule in this case? Provide a rationale for your response.

6.

What are the administrative implications of this case?

Use of Facilities by the Community

A midwestern school district approved a policy allowing open access to its facilities by the public as long as public use did not interfere with school activities. A group of graduating seniors and their parents arranged for a baccalaureate ceremony sponsored by the community. The ceremony was to be held in a school gymnasium. Verbal authorization was granted by school district officials. One month later, the district approved a new policy, which prohibited the group from using the gym.

 

Discussion Questions

  1. Does the board’s action constitute a breach of duty to honor its verbal authorization? Why or why not?
  2. Does the district have a right to change its policies after giving verbal authorization for use of the gym? Why or why not?

 

  1. Does the district’s action amount to a breach? Why or why not?
  2. What is the legality of reversing a policy that has been approved and executed for an extended period of time?
  3. Would the district’s action constitute discrimination against the students, their parents, and the

community?

  1. What might the district’s defense be in this situation?
  2. How would the court likely rule on this issue? Provide a rationale for your response.
  3. What are the administrative implications?

Note: The board is the legal body for the district.

 

 

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