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Supreme Court of the United States

Students Don't Have to Leave Their Faith at Home


Teachers' and Coaches' Rights

Public school teachers are both individual citizens and agents of the state.

Teachers do receive First Amendment protections, but how they apply to them is somewhat unique.

Teachers and Coaches Can:

Engage in religious activities outside of non-instructional time.

For example, teachers can:

  • Form after school Bible Study groups.
  • Participate in prayer groups with other adults.
  • Distribute literature to other adults for non-curricular activities on the same terms as all other events and activities.

For example, teachers can:

  • Use religious information in an objective manner.
  • Teach the Bible for its historical, cultural, or literary value.

For example, teachers can:

  • Allow students and athletes to lead prayer but can't lead it themselves.
  • Exchange religious ideas or even have prayer meetings with one another, provided students are not present.
  • Act as a faculty sponsor, if all activities are led by students and the teacher or coach is only there to supervise.

What We're Doing About It


Defending the rights of educators



Informing teachers, administrators, and coaches of their rights

We frequently assist students, faculty, staff, and administrators at public schools with understanding their rights and responsibilities concerning religious expression, free speech, and academic freedom.

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