Americans Agree with Supreme Court Ruling On the Use of School Facilities For Religious Group Meetings

by Darren K. Carlson

More than seven in 10 Americans say they favor such a policy

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ – In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that religious groups must be allowed to meet in public schools after class hours. The specific case involved The Good News Club of Milford, New York, which sued the local school district for preventing the religious group from using school facilities for their regular meetings. The court majority ruled that excluding the club was unconstitutional discrimination. The decision is directly in line with the views of the majority of Americans. According to a Gallup poll conducted February 9-11, 72% of Americans favor the use of schools for religious group meetings after school hours, while just 26% are opposed.

As the table below demonstrates, opinion of the decision is generally consistent across geographic, educational, and ideological subgroups.

 


Total


South


Non-
South

Col-
lege grad-
uate

No col-
lege edu-
cation


"Lib-
eral"

"Moder-
ate"

"Conserv-
ative"

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Use School Facilities for Religious Groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favor

72

77

70

74

68

67

72

74

Oppose

26

21

29

25

30

33

27

23

Survey Methods

The results below are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,016 adults, 18 years and older, conducted February 9-11, 2001. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Next I'm going to read a variety of proposals concerning religion and public schools. For each one, please tell me whether you would generally favor or oppose it. First, ... Next, ... [RANDOM ORDER]

BASED ON – 529 – NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A; ±4 PCT. PTS.

Making public school facilities available after school hours for use by student religious groups

 

 

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

 

%

%

%

2001 Feb 9-11

72

26

2

 

 

 

 

1999 Jun 25-27

78

21

1




Allowing daily prayer to be spoken in the classroom

 

 

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

 

%

%

%

2001 Feb 9-11

66

34

*

 

 

 

 

2000 Sep 11-13

68

30

2

1999 Jun 25-27

70

28

2

 

 

 

 

*Less than 0.5%

 

 

 




Allowing students to say prayers at graduation ceremonies as part of the official program

 

 

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

 

%

%

%

2001 Feb 9-11

80

20

*

 

 

 

 

2000 Sep 11-13

77

21

2

1999 Jun 25-27

83

17

*

 

 

 

 

*Less than 0.5%

 

 

 




Thinking about the presence that religion currently has in public schools in this country, do you think religion has [ROTATED: too much of a presence in public schools, about the right amount, (or) too little of a presence in public schools]?

BASED ON – 487 -- NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B; ±4 PCT. PTS.

 

 

Too much
of a presence

About the
right amount

Too little
of a presence

No
opinion

 

 

 

 

 

2001 Feb 9-11

7%

28

63

2



Get Articles in Related Topics:


Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/4495/Americans-Agree-Supreme-Court-Ruling-Use-School-Facilit.aspx
Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030