Santa Fe Independent School
miacrown on Dec. 16, 2020
A few years before the actions were brought, the Santa Fe School District had established a policy, or the so-called usage, that a Christian prayer would be announced over the public address system in advance of every university football game. Considering that their rights had been violated, a group of current and former Mormon and Catholic students of Santa Fe school filed a suit against their school for carrying out such a policy which contradicted the First Amendment to the US Constitution and violated their freedom of worship. Later names of the students, who initiated proceedings against the school, were changed for safety and in order to prevent the cases of harassment, which might happen to them. Finally, the District court ruled that this policy was invalid and prohibited. At the same time the school adopted a new policy, according to which two different types of elections were to be held in the nearest future. During these elections students had to decide whether they supported the delivering of Christian ‘’invocations’’ before university games, and who had to deliver such a speech. The majority of students supported the policy of the school and chose a student to deliver a prayer. After all these events a new court ruling was held. In accordance with it, the school was given a right to follow such a policy, that is, it was not prohibited anymore but with one exception that this prayer had to be nonsectarian and non-proselytizing. Each party of the process lodged to the Court of Appeals, which finally held that the policy, even with all amendments which had been done, was completely invalid.
Taking into consideration that freedom of religion, that is the right of everyone to choose a religion she or he wants to worship, is supposed to be a natural right. Everyone is entitled to it, in compliance with the First Amendment. According to it, the state cannot demand of anyone of its citizens to lose his or her rights and benefits as the price of resisting conformity to a state-sponsored religious practice. The issues, raised in the case, were the following:
Was there an actual violation of the Establishment Clause in the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution when the prayer, or “invocation”, was announced over the public address system at university football games? Was it a flagrant violation of freedom of religion?
The court ruling stated that the policy of the school, which supported the delivering of Christian invocations over the public address system at the opening of university football games by the school chaplain, who had been elected either by the school administration or by students, violated the 1st Amendment and the Establishment clause of the 14th Amendment. The information was taken from https://exclusive-paper.net/essays/free-speech-examples/gender-discrimination-persuasive-speech-outline.php.