14 Seton Hall L. Rev. 252 (1983-1984)
God and Kids at School: Voluntary Religious Activities in the Public Schools

handle is hein.journals/shlr14 and id is 268 raw text is: GOD AND KIDS AT SCHOOL:
VOLUNTARY RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES IN THE
PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Donald L. Drakeman*
and
Robert P. Seawright* *
In at least two federal circuits, high school students may meet
before or after school to discuss Hitler, Marx, and Neitzsche but not
Buddha, Jesus, or Mohammed. They may read Kinsey on sex but not
the Apostle Paul on love. This odd state of affairs is the result of two
recent decisions, Brandon v. Board of Education (Brandon)' and
Lubbock Civil Liberties Union v. Lubbock Independent School Dis-
trict (Lubbock),2 which held that such discussions violated the estab-
lishment clause of the first amendment. As a result of these and
related decisions, politicians have tried to develop means to escape the
results of Brandon and Lubbock. For example, President Reagan has
proposed an amendment to the Constitution to permit school prayer3
and Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina has proposed a bill that
would strip the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear cases on prayer in
schools .4
These legislative responses may not be necessary to reverse Bran-
don and Lubbock, however, since the United States District Court for
the Middle District of Pennsylvania has recently held in Bender v.
Williamsport Area School District (Bender)5 that high school students
may meet to pray and discuss religion in student-initiated and stu-
dent-led extracurricular organizations. Bender relied heavily on the
1982 Supreme Court decision in Widmar v. Vincent6 in holding that a
* A.B., Dartmouth College; J.D., Columbia Law School; Ph.D. candidate in religion,
Princeton University; General Counsel, Essex Chemical Corporation, Clifton, New Jersey.
** A.B., State University of New York; J.D., Duke University School of Law: Associate,
Bourne, Noll & Kenyon, Summit, New Jersey.
635 F.2d 971 (2d Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 1123, rehg denied, 455 U.S. 983
(1982).
2 669 F.2d 1038, rehg denied en banc, 680 F.2d 424 (5th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 103 S.
Ct. 800 (1983).
See infra text accompanying notes 149-51.
See infra text accompanying notes 155-59.
5 563 F. Supp. 697 (M.D. Pa. 1983), appeal docketed, No. 813-3284 (3d Cir. 1983).
6 454 U.S. 263 (1981) (providing such right to public university students).

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