Dean Obeidallah: Supreme Court ruling on public school prayer was a mistake. He says public schools are sites of religious and cultural conflicts because parents care about values passed on to children. He argues that students should not feel pressure from teachers, administrators or coaches to be religious, let alone subscribe to a particular faith. He cites Bill Clinton's effort to assert that religious students have important rights but that as government-run institutions, the public schools cannot impose religious views on anyone, directly or indirectly, he says. Obeydallah: Bill Clinton’s effort was a consensus-building exercise on the role of religion in public schools. It will exacerbate divisions on an issue around which people of good will have found ways to take seriously the concerns of both religious
Memorandum on Religious Expression in Public Schools detailed religious rights of students and obligations of educators and administrators. Memorandum insisted that “nothing in the First Amendment converts our public schools into religion-free zones,’s schools also may not discriminate against private religious expression during the school day.