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Religion, the Courts, and Public Schools

Religion has had a dynamic role in public education in the United States since the colonial era. From educational policy and curriculum design to the constitutional dimensions of students' and parents' rights, the issue of religion and public schools is often the source of great debate. These issues are viewed as having substantial implications for the larger society. Despite all the attention, debates about religion in public schools are often made more difficult by a lack of understanding of U.S. religious history and of the religion clauses of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This entry provides a brief history of the role of religion in U.S. public schools, as well as a discussion of the First Amendment and certain seminal U.S. Supreme Court ...

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