EDU 6120: Module 9

“Key Idea Identification”” Reflection on the EDU 6120 Module 9

“The Courts and Education” Lecture given by Arthur K. Ellis, Seattle Pacific University

While reading the transcription for Ellis’ Courts and Education lecture, I found the clear explanations of the various court rulings affecting both religion and civil rights in the schools to be very helpful in providing a more objective perspective–for myself as a long-time educator, as well as having been a student who personally experienced the implications of court decisions ruled in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Ellis reminds us that, “The tenth amendment deals with powers not specified to the federal government. Any powers not specified in the Constitution as domain of the federal government are delegated to the states” (Ellis, slide 4).  The broad overview of key court decisions appears to indicate that individual legal battles represented throughout the many decades—despite the opposing viewpoints and the extreme and valid emotions generated—have overall resulted in what I view as striving to maintain freedoms for students and teachers alike.

For example, in response to the 1967 case of Pickering vs. The Board of Education of Township High, “The court ruled that teachers have the rights of a citizen….” Ellis goes on to state that, “…in terms of teacher’s  assignments and teacher’s freedom of expression, the courts are ruling in fact that teachers are themselves citizens with all full first amendment rights” (Ellis, slide 23).

As an individual teacher, I can still be a Christian—even in an American public school setting—and have a positive impact on students, teachers, parents and my community, while maintaining my rights as an American citizen. I can still, “bloom where I am planted”.

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