A national survey, conducted in July and August of this year, shows that a clear majority of Americans believe that public school students should have freedom to express their religious faith in school.
In their latest State of the First Amendment poll, the First Amendment Center asked 1,003 adults a series of questions relating to a variety of First Amendment issues. Of those polled, 80 percent agreed, either strongly or mildly, that students should be allowed to offer a prayer at public school events. Of that group, 59 percent said they don't practice religion themselves.
The survey also found:
- Seventy-five percent believe that students should be able to speak about their faith at public school events.
- Seventy-five percent support the proclaiming of a National Day of Prayer by the Congress or the President.
- Sixty-one percent believe that the freedom to worship "applies to all religious groups regardless of how extreme their views are."
- Twenty-eight percent said that freedom to worship "never was intended to apply to groups most people would consider fringe or extreme."
- Sixty-six percent believe that the First Amendment requires a clear separation of church and state.
"Clearly, most Americans want to keep government out of religion, but they don't see an expression of faith by a student at a public school event as a violation of the separation of church and state," said Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center. For the complete report go to the First Amendment Center.