When all too many people speak of Christian prayer in schools, what they really mean is not prayers by all Christians, but some type of prayer that is fully acceptable only to some Christians. Not surprisingly, those Christians tend to be WASP.
When I was young, I attended Roman Catholic parochial school. The school day started with prayers, and at least once a week, it started with a Mass. But, the classroom prayers that started the day—on non-Mass days—were the typical Roman Catholic cycle of morning prayers for children, including the Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Gloria Patri, and the Symbolum Apostolorum (the Our Father or Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Glory to the Father, and the Apostolic Creed).
However, it is impossible for me to imagine a scenario in which Christian school prayer in a public school setting would be left to the discretion of the teacher. Rather, a definition would be forced on the teachers that would be every bit as tight as the secularist definition that is now forced on teacher in public schools.
No teacher would be allowed to follow their denomination’s accepted pattern for morning prayer. Rather, I strongly suspect that what would be imposed would be the typical Evangelical pattern for morning prayer, which would mean some type of Scripture, a general prayer (probably including the Our Father, but maybe not in “Bible Belt” states), and maybe a brief and rather limited, controlled reflection on the Scripture might be allowed. But, even that controlled reflection on Scripture would probably not allow any other type of interpretation than that considered to be somewhat “literal” by American Evangelical standards, and most certainly it would not include any quotes from Church Fathers or monastic saints.
You see, the problem with those who insist that we must pass a constitutional amendment to return Christian prayer to schools is that they would be the same ones who would promptly move against any Christian group whose prayers were not approved by them, even if a significant percentage of the United States belonged to that group. [25% of Americans are Roman Catholic]. A lot of verbiage is used to try to say that what they mean is that only prayer must be used that is acceptable to all Christian groups. Conveniently, they forget to mention that what this means in actuality is only that prayer found acceptable to Evangelical conservatives. No room or give would be present to periodically alternate that with other prayers acceptable to other Christians.
Worldwide, the largest Christian group in the world is the Roman Catholic Church. If one added all the other Christian groups in the world, they still would not equal the number of Roman Catholics. Thus, one would think that their prayers would be acceptable to those American conservatives who wish to have Christian prayer in schools. But, it is not so. Only some type of “generic” prayer (substitute “Evangelical”) is acceptable to these groups.
But, I am in favor of Christian prayer in public schools. Provided, that is, that we are allowed to periodically have Orthodox prayer days. If that is not possible, then I am completely against Christian prayer in public schools on the ground that it is state-sponsored prayer designed to teach my child false doctrines.