How can school officials tell when a planned school action or activity might violate the establishment clause?
Here are some questions that teachers and administrators should ask themselves when planning activities that may involve religious content (e.g., a holiday assembly in December):
- Do I have a distinct educational or civic purpose in mind? If so, what is it? (It may not be the purpose of the public school to promote or denigrate religion.)
- Have I done what I can to ensure that this activity is not designed in any way to either promote or inhibit religion?
- Does this activity serve the educational mission of the school or the academic goals of the course?
- Have I done what I can to ensure that no student or parent may be made to feel like an outsider, and not a full member of the community, by this activity?
- If I am teaching about religion, am I balanced, accurate, and academic in my approach?