President Trump Will Help Protect Prayer In Schools

President Donald Trump plans to empower students who choose to pray in their schools — and remind public schools that they could lose federal funds if they hamper students’ rights to religious expression.

Protecting Prayer

Trump will host a group of students from Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths at the White House Thursday to commemorate National Religious Freedom Day. According to officials, each of them has been discriminated against for practicing their religion at school.

White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Joe Grogan told NPR that existing provisions to protect school prayer created under the No Child Left Behind law have been lessened over time because of hostility to religion.

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‘They’re protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution’

“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 plans to announce that the Department of Education will be sending a letter to school officials in every state reminding them that students and teachers can’t be discriminated against for practicing their First Amendment religious rights.

There will be no change to current law, but the Trump administration says it wants students and teachers to be able to exercise their First Amendment rights.

NPR reported, “The event comes as Trump works to shore up his support among evangelical Christians and other religious freedom advocates ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Last month, evangelical magazine Christianity Today ran an editorial calling Trump ‘morally lost’ and argued that he should be removed from office.”

‘It’s important for all Americans’

“The U.S. Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer in public schools in a 1962 decision, saying that it violated the First Amendment. But students are allowed to meet and pray on school grounds as long as they do it privately and don’t try to force others to do the same,” NPR noted. “White House officials say there is still a great deal of misunderstanding about what is allowed and not allowed when it comes to religious expression in public schools.”

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Grogan said that it was important for the students of different faiths to be brought into the Oval Office while the president talked to them about protecting their religious beliefs.

“Whenever the president, the United States draws his megaphone upon a subject, people will pay attention,” Grogan said. “It’s important for all Americans, parents, teachers, administrators and citizens to understand that the First Amendment protects religious beliefs and protects people in expressing their spiritual life in the public square.”

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