BYU Education & Law Journal

Welcome to the Circus: An Analysis of Kennedy v. Bremerton


Ryan Spencer


Kennedy v. Bremerton, student rights, educator rights, parental rights


Since the inception of the public education system, schools have played numerous roles in student’s lives. Public schools and their employees have acted as educators, babysitters, role models, safe havens, disciplinary settings, and have filled the role of parents for most of each day; so much so, that the legal doctrine of in loco parentis (“in the place of the parents”) has been applied to public schools during school hours. Balancing the numerous roles schools play for the students becomes more difficult when the school must also consider the students’ legal rights as well as those of employees and parents. School administrators are faced with the task of balancing the employees’ and students’ constitutional right to free speech and free exercise of religion, while also upholding the constitutional mandate found in the Establishment Clause.

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