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Governance and Effecting Change in Schools - Essay Example

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And the decision of the Board of Education of New Hyde Park (New York) to make use of the Regents Prayer and directed to be said this prayer aloud in every classroom before starting…
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Governance and Effecting Change in Schools
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Discussion on four cases: First case discussion is based on the official status of short prayer for recitation in schools. And the decision of the Board of Education of New Hyde Park (New York) to make use of the Regents Prayer and directed to be said this prayer aloud in every classroom before starting the studies.
Only Justice Potter Stewart as an opponent of Justice Hugo L. Black and Justice William O. Douglas finish off this discussion by stating the following words that "the Court has misapplied a great constitutional principle." That shows for him, an official religion means "establishment of religion” (Morgan, 1962). But one must know that laws only can regulate the rights as well as responsibilities of teachers. I disagree with this court decision as the constitution and supreme law of this country is not in favor of forced actions.
According to second case, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1963 banned the Lords Prayer plus Bible reading in the public schools.
Teachers ordered their learners to rise and deliver the verses respectfully in unanimity. Moreover, broadcasting class learners in the Abington School District were bound to read the verses over a public-address system. Otherwise, teachers could be fired if they would refuse to participate and pupils occasionally were separated out from others if they did not stick together with others students in the daily reading (Phelps and Lehman, 2005).
But Laws regulating schools along with teachers at 3 interrelated levels of federal, state, and local are the part of a larger and complex legal system. Teachers are responsible to understand content they’re anticipated to teach to students.
The third case, which was decided in 1943 was West Virginia State board of Education vs. Barnette et. al. It was a case of forced saluting ceremony and the decision in favor of very strict punishment in case any student or teacher decides against that. The appellees were citizens of West Virginia and the United States, and they rightfully disagreed to salute the flag as a compulsion. They were adamant that the flog is an image. This image however sacred cannot be placed above religion or will of the people. On the other hand the education department believed that there are limits to everyone’s authority and symbolism remains a primitive and effective way of communicating ideas (West Virginia state board of Education vs. Barnette, 1943). I agree to the Education department in general that such symbolism teaches and communicates the national values. However, the strict punishments related to it make it a forceful act which might make it fail in serving its purpose. To me it appears ethically wrong to force anyone to salute a flag or to bear grave consequences.
The fourth case is Williams et. al. vs. State of California which was launched in 2000 and was decided in 2004. The students blamed the state that it was failing to provide equal access to instructional material to all students. At the end of this case the state had to fix a huge amount of funds for providing instructional material to all students (Williams vs. State of California, 2004). In this case, I fully agree with the verdict as equal provision of instructional material can only ensure similar level or education in all parts of the state and the country.
Morgan, Richard E. "Engel v. Vitale 370 U.S. 421 (1962)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. Ed. Leonard W. Levy and Kenneth L. Karst. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000. 896. Gale Power Search. Web. 3 Aug. 2011.
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"Abington School District v. Schempp." Wests Encyclopedia of American Law. Ed. Shirelle Phelps and Jeffrey Lehman. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 8-10. Gale Power Search. Web. 3 Aug. 2011.
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Eliezer Williams, et al., vs. State of California, et al. (2004) Retrieved from
West Virginia State board of Education vs. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624. (1943) Retrieved from Read More
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