First Amendment Religion and Education

  • Uncategorized


FirstAmendment: Religion and Education

FirstAmendment: Religion and Education

Assigninggrades is one of the academic responsibilities of a professor anddoes not fall into the administrative prerogatives realms. Grading isnormally based on the ability of students to apply what they havelearned in class in real life situations. Treating students equally,clear communication about policies and practices of grading, keepingstudents` records confidential, and listening to students` appeals toprevent student litigation are other positive, proactiveresponsibilities of an instructor or a teacher. While marking astudent`s work, there are several things that a lecturer or aninstructor looks at (Dueck, 2014). They include meeting the courseobjectives and requirements, adhering to intellectual property lawand how well the student is able to express their opinion on theissue at hand among others. On the other side, there are legislationsgoverning the administration of grades to avoid cases of students`dissatisfaction and as a result a petition.

Legalissues on grading students

AmericanAssociation of University Professors, (AAUP) states that principlesshould be used in assigning grades. They include, the faculty has themandate for assigning grades students should not be subjected tograding that is prejudicial or capricious the grades should not beassigned or altered without the authorization of faculty. Asteachers, they encourage the pursuit of learning that is free totheir students.

Professorsshow respect for the students as individuals and stick to their rolesas intellectual counselors and guides. They also make every effortthat is reasonable to foster academic conduct that is honest and toensure that their examination and assessment of students reflect thetrue merit of the students (Dueck, 2014).

Fromthe case of this student who presented Jesus as his hero, the mainlegal issue on grading evident here is academic freedom. It givesboth the faculty and students the right to express their opinion inwriting, speech and via electronic communication. Students have theright to free discussion, free expression, and free inquiry. On theother hand, professors are given the opportunity to select readingsfor assigning in their courses without providing &quotequal time&quotfor every viewpoint that is competing, as long as it reflects agenuinely academic decision. Students are not supposed to demand thatclasses be neutral in terms of viewpoint or &quotbalanced.&quot

Aninstructor can authorize the students to write a paper from aparticular point of view, even when the student disagrees with theviewpoint (Jones, 2011). This implies that a student can conductresearch on any field they feel appropriate as long as there are norestrictions. Based on the case at hand, the essay presented aboutJesus as the student`s hero is no exception and I believe the studentshould be graded based on the course objective and requirementsbecause there were no restrictions to a particular viewpoint orsubject.

SinceI have a standard practice of displaying the work of all students inthe classroom, I will display what this particular student did anddiscuss his opinion with other students. This is because the studentdid the best to show a picture of their hero and as an instructor, Iwould only focus on issues like the presentation of images andlanguages use not the subject they researched (Fijolek, 2012).


TheFirst Amendment protects the right of all Americans to think andspeak freely. It provides a promise of inquiry and freedom ofexpression to instructors and students which are very important(Smith, 2016). It protects the ability of educators to practise theirjudgment in respect to standards that are professional and gives thelatitude to have environments of learning that help young people toeffectively acquire the knowledge and skills they need to becomeself-sufficient, productive and members of society that cancontribute (Russo, 2013).In short, it provides the right to worshipand speak freely, right to a press of choice and to assemble andpetition the government. In the Supreme Court in Keyishian versusBoard of Education in 1967, the classroom was viewed as a&quotmarketplace of ideas.&quot They say that the future of anation depends on the leaders who are trained through an exposurethat is wide to the exchange of ideas. The exposure is robust andcomes up with the &quottruth&quot out of many tongues rather thanvia any kind of selection that is authoritative (Fijolek, 2012).

Thedecisions of the modern Supreme Court have however made it clear thatthis right to freedom of speech and expression can at times bemodified and subordinated to obtain educational goals that arelegitimate. A good example is the school district of Hazelwood versusKuhlmeier and Fraser versus Bethel School District. This means thatthere are some instances that this amendment act is not applied. Forinstance, if the student goes out of topic or handles what is notspecified by the instructor. In this particular situation, theamendment applies in the sense that the students are allowed toexplore subjects of their choice if the instructor has not chosen anyfor them. It is also applicable here as the student is free toexpress their ideas, feelings, and opinion even in their academicwork since any restriction would mean censorship has been applied(Jones, 2011).


Dueck,M. (2014).&nbspGradingsmarter, not harder : assessment strategies that motivate kids andhelp them learn.Alexandria: ASCD.

Fijolek,B. (2012).Beyondthe Schoolhouse Gates: Regulating Off-Campus Speech



Jones,M. (2011).&nbspTheFirst Amendment: freedom of speech, the press, and religion.New York: Rosen Central.

&nbspNCACSTAFF,&nbsp(2013).TheFirst Amendment in Schools: A Resource Guide

Russo,C. (2013).&nbspKeylegal issues for schools: the ultimate resource for school businessofficials.Lanham, Maryland: Rowman &amp Littlefield Education.

Smith,S. (2016).&nbspFirstamendment studies in Arkansas : the Richard S. Arnold Prize Essays.Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press.

Close Menu