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Tags: school prayer | Alaska | lawsuits

Notable Lawsuits Over School Prayer in Alaska

By    |   Sunday, 21 June 2015 02:06 PM EDT

Alaska takes a neutral stance on school prayer, but has had its share of controversy over religious expression and its place at public-school-sponsored events.

A dispute over school prayer caused high school wrestlers in the state of Alaska to change their tournament location in 2014. The Alaska Dispatch News reported that someone had complained after the 2013 small schools wrestling championship, which had been held at a Christian school and included a prayer. The Americans United for Separation of Church and State did not sue the Alaska School Activities Association, but put pressure on the public entity. The Anchorage Christian Schools which had been hosting the event decided they would not continue if prayer were forbidden as a part of the event.

ALERT: Should Prayer Be Allowed in Public Schools? Vote Now

According to FindLaw, Alaska does not have any state statutes that specifically address prayer in schools. Religious education in public schools must pass what is called the “Lemon test” which allows for the teaching of religious texts as long as the purpose is educational rather than religious, the teaching does not favor one religion, and the teaching does not “overly involve” the government with religion.

While some 29 states have passed statutes that provide for a moment of silence in public schools, Alaska is not one of them. Alaska has a state statute that protects a student’s right to NOT stand and recite the pledge of allegiance, which some people protest because of the “under God” line in the poem, according to Alaska Legal Resource Center.

The state participated in the national “moment of silence” in 2012 to remember the school shooting victims of Sandy Hook elementary school. According to Alaska Public Media, the Statehouse bell rang 26 times at 9:30 a.m. local time, December 21, 2012 to remember the victims.

VOTE NOW: Do You Support Prayer in Public Schools?

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FastFeatures
Alaska takes a neutral stance on school prayer, but has had its share of controversy over religious expression and its place at public-school-sponsored events.
school prayer, Alaska, lawsuits
315
2015-06-21
Sunday, 21 June 2015 02:06 PM
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