Among the words and phrases banned by Judge Biery are “amen,” “prayer,” “join in prayer,” “bow your heads,” or "in [a deity's] name we pray." He also ordered that the words “benediction” and “invocation” be removed from the graduation program. “These terms shall be replaced with ‘opening remarks’ and ‘closing remarks’,” he decreed.Now, unless you're a Roman Catholic, the words "benediction" and "invocation" are probably nothing more than big words you here at graduations and invoke no religious meaning for the majority of people.
However, I make no claim to whether or not this particular ruling was the right decision based on the facts of the case and constitutional precedent because either way, the judge would have been wrong. His current ruling infringes on the religious and speech freedom of believers and had he ruled the other way, he would have been infringing on the rights of the plaintiff.
The socialist nature of the American public school system is such that there is no balance that can be achieved to satisfy the natural rights of all parties. The friction that arises from everybody trying to impose their will on everybody else is constitutionally untenable. The only correct ruling would be to strike down ALL public schooling as unconstitutional. And it's not just the first amendment.
First Amendment violations - see above
Second Amendment violations - The constitution puts no age limit on gun rights, yet all public schools are considered gun-free zones. This is the government limiting your gun rights.
Fourth Amendment violations - Everyday across America, students lockers, bags, and persons are searched without a warrant.
Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Amendment violations - Everyday students are accused of a crime, denied representation, denied due process, denied a trial by a jury of peers, and sentenced without appeal all by a single person called "Principal."
Eighth Amendment violations - Students are frequently the given the maximum sentence of "expulsion" for minor violations.
Obviously, most of the above is said in satire. My child currently goes to a private school and the "principal" makes the decisions. I'd laugh her out of the school if she suggest my child be represented by peers or that a fellow student is packing heat. But my son's school is private. The constitution does not hold for this school.
A lot of people talk about "choice." Education vouchers and tax credits are all the rage lately but, ultimately, it leads down the same road: state control of education. We're getting a lot of talk in Texas about private school choice but nobody is talking about disbanding the Texas Education Agency. Nobody is talking about me letting me choose the best teachers, regardless of licensing, and best curriculum for my son. That will all still be dictated by the state.
It's time to recognize our right to the Separation of School and State.
Also, a fantastic analogy from Don Boudreaux illustrating the absurdity of vouchers and tax credits.