Explain how the present Supreme Court has reversed the earlier precedents of separation of church and state as guaranteed in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Supreme Court upholds the absence of any support by the American state to a given religion or making laws that seem to favor one creed over the other (Kern & Alexander, 2012). This implies the state cannot act in such a way to respect a certain creed or contribute to its establishment but all through maintain its state of non-association (Dawson, 2008).
Since the arbitration of Everson v. Board of Education case up to date, the Supreme Court has issued varying interpretations supporting non-association between the state and church, which are contrary to the earlier precedents’ arguments (Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing et al. 2009). Therefore, this has prompted courts at all levels maintain freedom from the religion as a substitute to freedom of religion such that no institution can compel its staff to uphold a certain creed or religion, for instance, in learning centers and other public areas (Kaplin & Lee, 2014).
How does separation of church and state affect the ethical decision-making of educational leaders?
In learning institutions, leaders usually make decisions, which they deem to be effective in ensuring smooth running of their schools but this due to non-association evident between the church and state becomes a great challenge (Kaplin & Lee, 2014). This is because educational leaders cannot compel students to adhere to certain morals whose basis is religion especially in public institutions where even taking a silent moment of prayer is unacceptable constitutionally.
This is because people profess different creeds apart from those who do not deem whether there is anything like Supreme Being. Therefore, forcing students to embrace certain practices like praying before commencement of their classes or any event is against what constitution states. Since, schools and organizations comprise institutions that represent government’s authority or influence in various levels of its administration.
As a result, this prompts educational leaders always to be careful of what they intend to advocate despite being beneficial to students and their staffs.
Dawson, J. M. (2008). The Meaning of Separation of Church and State in the First Amendment. Journal Of Church & State, 50(4), 677-681.
Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing et al. (2009). Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing et al, 1.
Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A. (2014). The Law of Higher Education: Student Version. Jossey-Bass Inc Publisher.
Kern, A. & Alexander, M. D. (2012). American public school law. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.