Saturday, February 04, 2006

School Prayer in the 1970s

I was in third grade around 1975 and attended a public school. This 12 years after the Supreme Court in Murray v. Curlett (Engle v. Vitale.) prohibited recitation of the Lords Prayer and Bible Readings in public schools. It was also well before the much publicized moments of silence in the 80s.

I remember at lunch we would have to pray. This was not a moment of silence because it was called prayer, though nothing was said during the prayer. We were required to put our hands together in prayer and lean our heads down. It amazes me to this date that that type of prayer still happened in the mid-70s.

I remember this particularly well because I thought of putting the straw into the orange drink or chocolate milk and up between my hands. While I prayed I would get a good drink and over time I talked the kids around me into doing the same thing. I don’t remember it ever being an issue or being caught, but drinking during prayers was my little third grade bit of defiance.

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