Blog of Rights

Heather L.
Weaver
Constitution Day:  Cherry-picking the First Amendment

Constitution Day: Cherry-picking the First Amendment

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 1:30pm
Today, many public schools will recognize and celebrate Constitution Day, the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.  Two hundred and twenty-five years later, you might think we could all agree on a few simple principles regarding how that document, which was amended a few years later to include the Bill of Rights, applies in the schools that will be studying it. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Constitution’s religious freedom protections, a handful of groups are pushing public schools to adopt a lopsided view of religious liberty that could further marginalize students of minority faiths, as well as non-believers, denying them the full benefit of the public education experience.
Backpacks and Belief:  Religious Freedom Goes to School in South Carolina

Backpacks and Belief: Religious Freedom Goes to School in South Carolina

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:34pm

The new school year starts this week for most public schools across South Carolina, and the ACLU wants to make sure students, parents, and schools are primed on one particularly important subject: religious freedom. That’s why the ACLU and…

Parking Lot Prayer:  Revisiting the Murfreesboro Mosque on the Eve of Ramadan

Parking Lot Prayer: Revisiting the Murfreesboro Mosque on the Eve of Ramadan

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:11pm

If the freedom to worship is a fundamental right under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment – and it unquestionably is – then it follows that access to a suitable place of worship is also essential.  Congress recognized…

Supreme Court Takes a Pass on Mt. Soledad Cross Case

Supreme Court Takes a Pass on Mt. Soledad Cross Case

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 5:36pm

Today, we were pleased to learn that the Supreme Court declined to review our challenge to the federal government’s display of a 43-foot-tall Latin cross atop Mt. Soledad in San Diego, California.  The ACLU and the ACLU of San Diego and…

March Madness: Tennessee Legislature Takes Another Shot at Undermining Evolution Education

March Madness: Tennessee Legislature Takes Another Shot at Undermining Evolution Education

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:32pm

March may mean only one thing — the NCAA tournament — for basketball fans, but for Tennessee legislators, March means the revival of a state tradition that is not so worthy of celebration: attacking the teaching of evolution in public…

How Do I Marginalize Thee? One High School Principal Counts the Ways

How Do I Marginalize Thee? One High School Principal Counts the Ways

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief & Amanda Goad, LGBT Project & Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 5:01pm

Just how many ways can one public school official violate students' legal rights? The principal of Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee, seems to be going for a record.

At an assembly earlier this month, Principal Dorothy Bond reportedly…

Don't B-SHOCked: Settlement Shows Public Schools Can't Proselytize

Don't B-SHOCked: Settlement Shows Public Schools Can't Proselytize

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:25pm

A federal judge signed and entered a consent decree and order today in the ACLU’s case challenging widespread and pervasive religious practices in South Carolina’s Chesterfield County School District. The ACLU brought the lawsuit on…

Constitutional Law 101: Federal Court Rules That Discrimination Against Muslims Violates the First Amendment

Constitutional Law 101: Federal Court Rules That Discrimination Against Muslims Violates the First Amendment

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 2:20pm

If implemented, the amendment would have rendered Oklahoma’s Muslims second-class citizens before the state courts.

9/11's Legacy of Religious Discrimination

9/11's Legacy of Religious Discrimination

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:23pm

It's no secret that, after 9/11, a wave of anti-Muslim bigotry washed over the country. The intensity of that prejudice has sustained it for a decade, and, in many ways, anti-Muslim sentiment and fear of Islam seem even stronger and more deeply…

School Vouchers Inflict More Harm Than Good

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 10:52am

One of the great American ideals is that everyone has an equal chance to succeed in life. A cornerstone of this ideal is our public education system. American public schools are meant to ensure that every child — regardless of race, religion,…

Statistics image