Church Vs. State

Alex Spawr

Lee v. Weisman

In Providence, Rhode Island, a Rabbi was invited to speak at a graduation ceremony at Nathan Bishop Middle School. There were prayers said at the end of ceremony. Weisman, whom had a daughter graduating, did not agree with the principal, Robert Lee's decision. He tried to get a temporary restraining order against the Rabbi and was denied. After the ceremony, Weisman filed a permanent injuction stating school officials could not invite people to give prayers in the school.


Weisman won the case. The court stated that it was a "state-sponsored and state-directed religious exercise in a public school" ("The Oyez", n.d.). They decided standing and having a moment of silence was appropriate; however, having open vocal prayer for all was not. This allowed for unofficial prayers by each individual if they chose.


James (Buddy) Moore


My Opinion

Weisman could have handled the situation differently and so could Lee. Instead of banning people from coming completely, they could have come up with an idea like moments of silence to still bring the officials in without banning them completely. They came to an agreement though that there could be a moment of silence rather than completely taking it out allowing some equality between church and state. This allowed some sort of common ground between the two parties involved.