Are there laws in certain states that will prevent me from joining Christian Educators and force me to join my local teachers’ union?You can choose membership with Christian Educators regardless of where you teach. Teachers are no longer required to join their school districts’ unions because the Supreme Court has ruled against forced union membership or special fees for public employees. Plus, local unions represent both members and nonmembers when they negotiate contracts.
Students always say a prayer before meals at our optional athletic banquets that take place in the evening in our school gym. I received an email today from our superintendent that said, "...having prayer at a school function is not appropriate. In fact, it is actually found to be unconstitutional." Is this true?The Constitution says the school cannot inhibit a student’s expression of religion. Therefore, if a student leads prayer without being assigned by staff to do so, he or she can freely pray. As long as the staff does not direct it, student-led prayer is legal.
Keep in mind that even though student-led prayer at an athletic banquet is legal, continuing this practice without first talking to your superintendent could result in charges of insubordination. So, be sure to discuss the legal rights of the students with the superintendent first, thus protecting the district from potential legal issues while also not simply ignoring his directive.
My school district is about to begin a troublesome new contract negotiation period. Currently, I am not a member of my teachers’ union, but I am a member of Christian Educators. If the teachers’ union votes to go on strike and I choose to participate in the strike, will Christian Educators support me?Christian Educators supports our members regardless of whether they decide to honor a teachers’ strike or not. However, unless you hear differently from the Lord, I would never recommend someone cross the picket line...it can be quite dangerous to not support a teachers’ strike.
To submit questions regarding:
- Religious freedoms - visit Ask an Attorney
- Other legal issues - email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Educational issues - visit Ask an Educator
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