Court Allows Schools to Continue Minute of Silence

By Dinan, Stephen | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 25, 2001 | Go to article overview

Court Allows Schools to Continue Minute of Silence


Dinan, Stephen, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Byline: Stephen Dinan

Virginia's law requiring public school students to observe a daily minute of silence in classrooms is constitutional, a divided panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday.

The 2-1 ruling by the Richmond-based court means Virginia public schools will continue to set aside a minute for students to pray, meditate or conduct another silent activity of their choice, as long as it isn't disruptive.

The lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union already has promised to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Virginia's attorney general said he's ready to defend the law.

The two judges ruling in favor of the state wrote that the law is an acceptable balance of competing First Amendment rights: the prohibition against establishing a religion -(spade)what has come to be known as the separation of church and state -(spade)and individuals' right to practice their religion.

"In establishing a minute of silence, during which students may choose to pray or to meditate in a silent and nonthreatening manner, Virginia has introduced at most a minor and nonintrusive accommodation of religion that does not establish religion. By providing this moment of silence, the State makes no endorsement of religion," wrote Judge Paul V. Niemeyer, who was joined in his opinion by Judge Karen Williams.

The state General Assembly, arguing that it would help students collect themselves and reflect on things, voted overwhelmingly last year to require every school to host a minute of silence. Before, the law merely had allowed schools the option. The law took effect during summer school last year, with most schools choosing to hold the minute of silence during morning announcements.

But just before schools reopened in September, a handful of students - with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - sued, arguing that the law was a backdoor attempt to promote prayer in schools.

First a federal district judge in Alexandria, and now the appeals panel, have rejected that argument and upheld the law - and along the way, both allowed schools to continue to hold the period of silence while the case made its way through the courts.

Other than a few problems in the early days - students being disciplined for walking out to protest the law, for instance - there haven't been many public complaints from school administrators or students. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Court Allows Schools to Continue Minute of Silence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.