Can Public Schools Be Religiously Neutral?

By Paul G. Kussrow and Loren Vannest.

“The Supreme Court ordered that all religious activities be removed from the public schools (Engel v. Vatale, l962) and in subsequent years strengthened its decision through further restrictions (Abington v. Schempp, l963; Stone v. Gramm, l980; Graham v. Central, l985; Jager v. Douglas, l989). Who can argue against neutrality? We who have a fundamental belief in God can point to the significant decline in standardized test scores, increase in student pregnancy, and violence in our schools since the Court’s l962 decision. But the question remains, and has the Court been able to remove religion from the public schools or has only certain types of traditional (God based) religion been removed while non-God religions fill the vacuum? Is a religiously neutral public school education an oxymoron? Can individuals who think and work in what some term government sponsored institutions (public schools) truly be neutral and teach in what others hope will be religiously neutral zones?”

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