1984 March 1

Long Island School Drops Mandatory 30 Second Meditation or Prayer Period


The Hicksville, New York, Junior High School on this day announced that it it was dropping its mandatory 30 second meditation or prayer period for students. The school’s written policy called for “silent prayer or meditation according to the beliefs or desires of individual students.”

The Nassau County chapter of the ACLU had threatened to sue on behalf of several parents who complained that the policy created an establishment of religion in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court declared an Alabama “moment of silence” unconstitutional as a violation of the Establishment Clause in Wallace v. Jaffree on June 4, 1985.

Learn more about religion in the schools: https://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/religion-and-schools

Read: Jeremy Gunn and John Witte, No Establishment of Religion: America’s Original Contribution to Religious Liberty (2012)

Learn more about separation of church and state: https://www.au.org/

Learn about the Religion Clauses at the First Amendment Center:

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