Ever since the Supreme Court struck down enforced prayer in public schools in 1963, religious extremists have been trying to force their beliefs back into classrooms and extra-curricular activities. But equality means that people of all religions and none should feel welcome in their own public schools and at school events.
Policies that mandate or encourage government-sponsored prayer or favor religious clubs use the power of government to force people to pray or adopt certain religious beliefs. When school officials, teachers, and coaches sponsor prayers, it sets students of other faiths and the nonreligious apart from those of the majority religion, excluding them and marking them as different.
Religious freedom means that individuals—not school officials or government officials — get to make their own decisions about religion.