Religion in American public schools is a hot-button issue. Can prayers be said in public schools? What about in extracurricular activities? Can states provide funds to religious schools? And if parents don’t vaccinate their children for religious reasons but send them to public schools, what can the State do?
These questions don’t have easy answers and the US constitution offers little help. The Establishment clause of the First Amendment of the constitution, for instance, forbids Congress from making laws in support of religion but also protects the free exercise of religion. Finding the right balance isn’t always straightforward.
My guest today is Martha McCarthy. She is the Presidential Professor at Loyola Marymount University and the Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at Indiana University. Together with Suzanne Eckes and Janet Decker, Professor McCarthy has recently published Legal Rights of School Leaders, Teachers, and Students(Pearson, 2019).
Today’s episode of FreshEd was put together in collaboration with the Education Law Association.
Citation: McCarthy, Martha, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 159, podcast audio, June 17, 2019. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/mccarthy/
Transcript, Translation, and Resouces:
Church/State Relations in Public Schools