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Religious Expression in Public Schools: Staff Discussion Guide


Religion in society:

  1. What are some ways that the religious freedom around us is beneficial to families and in our local community?

  2. Name some ways that our students’ religious values and beliefs bring strength to our school.

Video Application:

  1. What are some specific examples from the video of ways students can express their religious beliefs in our school?

  2. In class, what are some topics in which religious views and other societal views may differ, and how can you as an educator lead the conversation to show value and care for all student views on those topics?


Read each of the following examples and decide if this is allowed in school based on the video you watched:

  1. Several students are reading their religious texts during lunch in the lunch area and talking about them. Is this a protected activity in the public school setting? What if it grows to 30 students and they say they are a club?

  2. A student wears a t-shirt with a religious message to class. Some students express that they are offended by the message on the shirt. How do you respond to this?

  3. During a lesson, students are asked their opinions on a topic or current event. A student says they have a different view on the topic based on their religion and shares their beliefs. Is this protected speech in the classroom? How would you guide the conversation to value all views and help the student feel their input about their religious beliefs is respected?

  4. On an assignment a student cites religious texts as a source. In what scenarios is this appropriate? Are there scenarios in which this is not appropriate?