Max Stieve
Case 2
Lemon vs. Kurtzman Case
APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
Argued: March 3, 1971 --- Decided: June 28, 1971
Background:
Ishmael Jaffree, the father of three children that attended an Alabama school decided to file charges against the local board of education. He argued that Pennsylvania’s Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968 was unlawful because of the one minute moment of silence each morning that the entire school took part in. The separation of religion and state is well known in this country and that no single religion can be endorsed over another. Meaning that in order to be constitutional there has to be a complete neutral stance on religion.

Decision and Rationale:
The ruling in Lemon vs. Kurtz was that the moment of silence was unconstitutional according to the first amendment. There was evidence that one religion was being favored and therefor a neutral stance was not being upheld.

Impact on Teaching:
Teachers have to strictly abide by these rules or there can be major consequences. The students of course have their own right to use the moment of silence however their religion deems it necessary and as teachers we have to respect their choice of religion while remaining completely neutral. From kindergarten thru twelfth grade I don’t remember one single instance where this was an issue, but I have read many articles and herd many instances of how this is a very touchy issue. I personally grew up in the Bible belt where there are still prayers at football games and graduation ceremonies.

Applicable Quiz Question:
(T/F) It is perfectly legal for a public school teacher to criticize a student’s religion and to say that their own religion is better than the student’s.