In regards to day-to-day classwork, the courts have made a distinction between mere exposure to objectionable material and a school's attempt to coerce its students to adopt a particular political or religious viewpoint. Parents who can prove that coercion is taking place will have a much greater chance in court of forcing the school to accommodate to their beliefs by changing the school's practices. If coercion is not taking place, and a child is merely being exposed to objectionable material, being excused from the class is more likely.
On the positive side, Christian students do have the right to include religious topics and research in their school work when appropriate. In Florey vs. Sioux Falls School District, Circuit Judge McMillian clarified why students have the right to use religious materials in the classroom. He states that, "To allow students only to study and not to perform religious art, literature and music when such works have developed an independent secular and artistic significance would give students a truncated view of our culture." In another case titled the Committee for Public Education vs. Nyquist, the Supreme Court stated, "The First Amendment does not forbid all mention of religion in public schools. It is the advancement or inhibition of religion that is prohibited." When presented objectively any religious topic is fair game for both student and teacher. Indeed, both could make good use of this freedom in covering such topics as the religious views of our Founding Fathers, what role Christian thought has played in important issues such as slavery and abortion, and how Christian thought has been in conflict with other world views.
Students can be an effective instrument for reaching other students with the Gospel, but only if they are living consistently with what they believe. This is possible given the rights granted them by the U. S. Constitution. It is our job as parents to see that our schools protect the rights of our children not only to believe, but to live Christianly, for what good is freedom of religion if it covers only our private lives?