President Donald Trump will soon offer protection to students who wish to pray in schools. In doing so, he will also remind public school districts that they could lose federal funding if found discriminating against students by violating their right to religious expression.
Contrary to many liberal opinions who claim Trump is racist, he's meeting with student groups who represent multiple religions such as Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. He plans to protect each religion as needed and help end discrimination against them for simply having religious beliefs.
The White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Joe Grogan, spoke with NRP in an exclusive interview about the issue at hand.
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In an exclusive interview with NPR, White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Joe Grogan said existing provisions to protect school prayer established under the No Child Left Behind law have been eroded over time with a hostility to religion and religious institutions.
"We're trying across the board to invite religious institutions and people of faith back into the public square and say, 'Look, your views are just as valid as anybody else's,' " Grogan said. " 'And, by the way, they're protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.' "
Trump will announce that the Department of Education will be sending a letter to education secretaries and officials in all 50 states reminding them that students and teachers can't be discriminated against for practicing their First Amendment religious rights.
Further according to NPR's report, they will update a 2003 guidance that pertains to prayer in public school. There will be no changes to the current laws and regulations, but they want to provide an outlet for students to file reports against people who discriminate against them for religious reasons, particularly related to prayer.
NPR also reminds us that back in 1962, the United States Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer in our public schools because they claimed it violated the First Amendment. However, that does not include students praying on their own on school grounds.
The way this works is that the school itself does not provide time for prayer, such as a class full of students praying before lunch. However, if students organize and pray on their own during lunch, recess, or other free time - that is their prerogative and cannot be discriminated upon.