Most Americans Support Allowing Students To Pray In Public School Classrooms

Most Americans Have No Problem With Allowing Religion In Public Schools

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer in public schools over 50 years ago, most Americans do not think that it should be that way.

A new poll out from Gallup shows that 61 percent of Americans are in favor of "allowing daily prayer to be spoken in the classroom." Although this number has declined from previous years -- in 2001, 66 percent of Americans said they favored prayer in the classroom -- it still signifies that most Americans disagree with the Supreme Court's previous rulings on the issue.

Seventy-five percent of Americans also indicated that they favor "allowing students to say prayers at graduation ceremonies as part of the official program." And 77 percent said they think public school facilities should be made available for student religious groups to use after school -- a practice that the Constitution allows.

Responses to the Gallup poll were somewhat divided by party line, with Republicans being more likely to support religion in school.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, told The Huffington Post that even though the trend of Americans wanting prayer in school seems to be declining, she still thinks it seems disproportionately high.

"I think that luckily constitutional law is not voted on by the majority," Gaylor said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article suggested that prayer in school was prohibited under any circumstances. The Supreme Court's ruling specifically prohibited school-sponsored prayers, not all prayer.

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