A student is attending public school who doesn't believe in God?

When a high school student in public school went to the principal office, he saw a large picture of Jesus which has been there for 25 yrs. He wanted that picture remove because he doesn't believe in God.

question : Will the school be required to removed the picture? If he went to the court, what is the legal issue in this case?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The legal issue is one of separation of church and state.

    The establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

    This has since been interpreted by the courts as meaning government (not just Congress) should not behave in a manner that favors or advances the cause of one religion over others.

    The high school student (or someone representing him) would have to take this to court to get anything to done, and a judge would have to make the decision as to whether the picture constitutes an unacceptable instance of the principal, as an instrument of the state, imposing his religious views on the student, or whether the principal's right to freely express his religion (also a provision of the 1st amendment) takes precedence.

    My guess would be that ultimately the principal would be allowed to keep the picture, since it's his personal office and a representation of his personal faith. It might be a different story if the picture were prominently displayed in a classroom, auditorium, etc. or if the principal was known for lacing his lectures with Biblical references and the like.

    I'm personally an atheist and a strong advocate for separation of church and state, but it's a somewhat delicate balancing act. People have to be free to believe (and express their beliefs), but when they are a part of a public institution like the school system, they shouldn't use it as a platform to advance their religious beliefs, or to make others with different beliefs (or non-beliefs) feel unwelcome or uncomfortable.

    I see "In God we trust" on our currency, and the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance as more egregious violations of the establishment clause than a portrait in an office.

  • caro
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Maybe he's attending the wrong school!

    I can't imagine the English children attending schools in Spain to make such demands as these!!!

    One should respect the country and the countrymen where you live! Regarding religion I believe it to be a very private issue. How on earth can someone be offended by another person's faith???

    Source(s): Widely travelled.
  • gyalog
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    I would say no because it was in someone's private office.

    If the picture of Jesus were in a more public area, then there may be grounds for something.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, it won't be removed, because it has nether opressed him nor has committed him any injustice.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'd guess it would have to come down.

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