Can students pray and tell their friends about Jesus at school? Can they express their faith in a school assignment? Can they sing about Jesus in a talent show?
Too many students, teachers, and parents don’t know that such expressions of faith are perfectly legal and constitutionally protected. Many people mistakenly see living their faith in public schools as either impossible or an act of civil disobedience. Thankfully, there are many positive ways for Christian students and teachers to live and express their faith in public schools while operating within the protections of the law.
Gateways to Better Education offers a variety of answers and resources aimed at helping Christians understand their rights to speak up. Well-equipped and well-educated Christian students, teachers, and staff can be an invaluable resource to each other as they seek to be “salt and light” on their campuses, and also to their schools administrators, who are often paralyzed by fear because they themselves do not know or understand what is legal.
It’s interesting to note that the U.S. Department of Education’s website also has some strong statements in support of the exercise of religious freedom in schools.
Here are four ways you and/or your church can make a difference in the schools in your community this year:
Churches play a particularly important role in equipping both Christian students and teachers to freely live and express their faith in school environments without fear. So many of the founding fathers recognized the vital role of faith as a pillar of a successful society and government that they protected the individual expression of religion in the very First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Therefore, learn what the law says, and then be bold in expressing the faith that motivates you, even in your public school!