Gary L. Taft

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Howard Norris

Second Advisor

David Berry

Third Advisor

Toby Rogers


This research examined the knowledge of the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America possessed by teachers in two secondary high schools in East Tennessee. Additionally, an attempt to evaluate the relationship between church attendance in protestant evangelical churches and the teacher’s ability to address church/state conflicts within parameters previously established by the United States Supreme Court was conducted. Finally, the role of social environment was examined in teacher’s knowledge of the first amendment. Prior research within this context has produced evidence that teachers are in fact not adequately prepared to address church/state conflicts within their school systems or their classrooms in particular (Biro, 2001; Campbell, 2002; Ramey, 2009). The result of this inadequate knowledge is the infraction of student liberties established by the Supreme Court as well as the possibility of expensive and embarrassing lawsuits for the offending schools.


Church and state, Teachers, Freedom of religion