The First Amendment and Its Importance

The First Amendment places a strong emphasis on the value of the right to free speech, religion, and of the right to free expression for the people of the United States. No one can be forced to give up their religious convictions and ideals by the government. Similar to this, the First Amendment is applicable in school systems, and students are free to share or express their religious convictions as long as they do not disturb the class. Regarding the pupils who sent in a paper on Jesus and a depiction of the Last Supper, a number of problems come to light. Without fear of retaliation due to the religious nature of their work, students are free to express their religious convictions through written or oral tasks and artwork. Students’ opinions are protected by the First Amendment as long as they don’t violate the rights and liberties of others.

The free practice of religion cannot be restricted by the government due to the First Amendment. However, the Establishment Clause forbids the long-term display of religious symbols. Temporary exhibits that are incorporated within secular curricula may be acceptable (Levy, 2017). Such a display may also fall within the category of student resources that the school may limit based on their subject matter, point of view, or the efficacy of their educational mission. To decide whether the artwork can be presented in the classroom, the work must be examined, and these questions must be addressed. An additional disclaimer stating that the institution does not support the artwork’s message should be included if it is decided that displaying it is acceptable.

The US Supreme Court generally considers open demonstrations of religious symbols on school grounds to be unlawful. The court might decide that it was illegal to give a prayer over the school’s public address system since doing so gave the audience the impression that the school approved of the message (Konvitz, 2018). This decision demonstrates how it is unconstitutional for students to use school facilities to spread religious messages.

Similar concerns about the seeming support of the student’s essay’s substance arise when it is graded. Any grade, whether good or bad, might be interpreted as endorsing or demeaning religion, which is against the Establishment Clause (Campbell, 2017). Educating about Christianity is not illegal, but teaching religious education is. Due to the First Amendment’s right to liberty and free speech sections, students are permitted to demonstrate their religious convictions in their coursework or artwork (Campbell, 2017). However, the evaluation of such work should only take into account general academic requirements for content and applicability, as well as other valid pedagogical considerations. In the end, this indicates that while marking the paper in question is an option, the instructor needs to be cautious not to factor in any religious issues.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is seriously violated when pupils present religious materials or express religious opinions in their assignments. The school is not allowed to support or disparage such expressions even though the right of free speech and free speech sections authorize them. Therefore, an essay can be judged according to general academic norms and not be affected by its religious content. If religious art is shown in a neutral setting, relates to the current program, and has an express disclaimer that states that the institution does not support the message, it may be periodically presented in a classroom as part of an assignment.


Campbell, J. (2017). Natural Rights and the First Amendment. Yale LJ, 127, 246.

Konvitz, M. R. (2018). Fundamental liberties of a free people: religion, speech, press, assembly. Routledge.

Levy, L. W. (2017). The establishment clause: Religion and the First Amendment. UNC Press Books.

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LawBirdie. "The First Amendment and Its Importance." October 27, 2023.