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Not a debate: Is student led prayer still allowed in school?

I was under the impression students are not allowed to stand up in the lunch room and lead anyone in the room that wants to pray in a prayer. Graduations are not allowed to have a student speaker lead prayer even if this prayer is volunteer.

Am I wrong? Please do not turn this question into a debate. I just want to know if children are allowed to pray out loud, in groups while on school property. I am not asking if it is right or wrong. Thanks


Asked by vntNyll at 6:13 PM on Jul. 3, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

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This question is closed.
Answers (31)
  • I'm not sure about in the school building itself, but when my son was in HS, he and a group of his friends met at the flagpole every morning for prayer. At his graduation, we were led in prayer.

    Answer by popzaroo at 6:35 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • There's a difference between voluntary, student led prayer in private and voluntary, student led prayer holding the entire class and the entire audience captive. Students can volunteer to meet together at the flagpole 20 minutes before graduation and pray all they want.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:35 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • Students are allowed to pray here. They may not lead the whole lunch room, but if a group at a table, or if a single person at a table wants to pray, no one is going to stop them.

    No prayer at graduation make sense. Not everyone is a Christian. If you want to pray, do so before you get out of the car, or do it after graduation. Taking time out of recognizing those who have achieved the honor of high school graduation to pray to a god that not everyone believes in is not necessary.

    Answer by Mom2theboy1994 at 6:19 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • Yes and No... Students are permitted to lead prayer amongst themselves in an informal and non-forced setting. For instance if someone at a lunch table with a group of friends chose to pray, it would be allowed. However if the school assigned tables and someone wanted to lead the group in a prayer it wouldn't be. It's all about the individual's ability to be present or not according to their own wishes. Since most schools don't allow students to simply leave the classroom when they don't like things, prayer for a group in a class setting is a no-no. But assuming the students are in a group where all involved have the ability to leave should the others decide to pray, it's allowed. And they are always permitted to pray to themselves by themselves.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 7:59 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • Yeah,they can stay at their table,its just that they'd most likely want privacy. They just can't be disruptive but no one can be loud,its not just them

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 6:21 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • I just always assumed no prayer on school grounds.

    At DS's school they have Happy Day club once a week - they meet inside in one of the larger rooms, art room or library. It's after school, but it's inside.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:39 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • I was a teacher just until the end of this last school year (I'm taking some time off to be home with my youngest child) Anyhoo... In my area yes. Kids can pray out loud whenever they want. It is also done at graduation. It's up to the kids to do it. If someone doesnt like it they can leave the area.

    Answer by Taterstots3 at 7:07 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • thalassa

    Answer by thalassa at 7:57 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • In the examples you provided it would not be allowed because they would subjecting ALL students to the wishes and prayers of a few however if a group of students wants to meet up and pray they can, even at the lunch table if they want, just not to where the whole lunch room can hear them. Many schools have instances where students can meet at the flagpole in the morning or afterschool organizations for the same. Why do you feel the students in question NEED to subject the rest of the student body to their indoctrination of religion?

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 8:10 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • there was a group of teens who prayed at the flagpole every day before school, out-loud, & i graduated in 2003. my brother went there till 2005 & they still met. this was in Anchorage, AK.

    the first high school i went to (DoD schools) had a bacclorate (sp) for each graduating class that was voluntary. it was held in the base chapel & was a beautiful spiritual graduation ceremony.

    our football team had a voluntary group prayer before each game, but it was student coaches participated for fear of making it seem like a mandatory thing.

    student led prayer is allowed in most schools so long as its peaceful, not interrupting class time, not keeping others from moving thru the hallways, isnt forced on anyone, and isnt distracting from school activities

    Answer by okmanders at 9:40 PM on Jul. 3, 2011