U.S. Department of Education Updates 1995 Guidelines on Religion in Schools

U.S. Department of Education Updates 1995 Guidelines on Religion in Schools

Religion in Public School

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The U.S. Department of Education updates and re-issues the 1995 guidelines on religion in schools. Sections that dealt with student garb and religious excusals are revised to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court's finding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was unconstitutional.

Because that act is no longer in force, schools are now freer to decide whether students can wear religious garb such as yarmulkes and head scarves to class. Schools can also now allow or not allow students to be excused from classes that conflict with their religious beliefs.

Secretary of Education Riley makes three recommendations to local school boards and teachers:

  1. to recognize that in an increasingly diverse religious society that every school board should adopt a policy on religious expression;
  2. to inform teachers early on about the role of religion in public schools through workshops and schools of education;
  3. to actively inform parents about student's rights to religious expression as well as freedom of conscience.
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