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Abington School District v. Schempp - Significance, Court Articulates A Test For Establishment Clause Questions, Reading The Bible In Public School

pennsylvania appellant amendment press

Appellant

School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania

Appellee

Edward Lewis Schempp

Appellant's Claim

That a Pennsylvania law requiring daily Bible readings in public schools violates the First Amendment requirement of church-state separation.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

John D. Killian III and Philip H. Ward III

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Henry W. Sawyer III

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr., Tom C. Clark (writing for the Court), William O. Douglas, Arthur Goldberg, John Marshall Harlan II, Earl Warren, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Potter Stewart

Place

Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

17 June 1963

Decision

The Supreme Court struck down the Pennsylvania statute by a vote of 8-1.

Related Cases

  • Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962).

Sources

"Dispute Settled over School Bible Courses."Christian Century, 1 April 1998.

Further Readings

  • Alley, Robert S. School Prayer: The Court, the Congress, and the First Amendment. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1994.
  • Drakeman, Donald L. Church-State Constitutional Issues: Making Sense of the Establishment Clause. New York, NY: Greenwood Press, 1991.
  • Levy, Leonard Williams. The Establishment Clause: Religion and the First Amendment. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
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about 8 years ago

I do not understand why people were trying to require you to learn about God in school isn't there enough things you have to learn about. I believe that if parents and their kids want to learn about God they should put in the effort to go to church and bible school. In public schools their are to many kids with different beliefs to force one certain one on them.

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about 9 years ago

I think that God and Prayer should still be in school. They had a rule and the children didn't have to be in the room as long as they had a parent note.





YOU TURD this is SCHOOL NOT CHURCH

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almost 10 years ago

I think that God and Prayer should still be in school. They had a rule and the children didn't have to be in the room as long as they had a parent note.

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almost 8 years ago

i think God is very impotant and i kno every body doesnt believe the same thing but i think there should be a class for those who want to learn about God its not right for people to take away things from some one else just because they dont believe the same and its not right for poeple to have to be forced to do somthing they dont believe

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over 8 years ago

School and church should be kept separate because if people wanted to learn about god why not just go to church, it wasn't meant to be put into a school. That seems to me that if you wanted to or not you were being forced to learn about god

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over 9 years ago

i think this is all wrong!!!!!!

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over 9 years ago

The ruling was just. School and religion should be separate. A public establishment has no right to impose it's views on it's students. It is showing favoritism to one religion. The purpose of school is to provide its students with a quality education not a biased,narrow view of the world. The excusal from class is simply a form of justifying the practice. What they neglect to say is how the child will be effected after his/her classmates see that he/she is "different".

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almost 10 years ago

noting the decrease of religion in society, heightened immorality, increase in violence, rape, and murder since 1963 and the intentions of the founding fathers regarding the first and fourteenth amendment, i believe school prayer and education with the Bible to promote morality and the values of Christianity should be reinstated

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about 8 years ago

School is not Church they are two completely diffrent things, and it was a PUBLIC school so they should only be teaching FACT, not OPINION or BELIEF

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over 8 years ago

i think that if someone doesn't beleive that god should not be discussed in school then that is their opinion on that situation.

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about 9 years ago

what you all don't know is that once schempp brought up case against the school district he recieved thousands of letters from supporters of the school threatening him... i think it was a pretty brave thing to do considering he had two more children who had to go to school there after his son ellory brought the koran to school to read from. like the constitution says church and state are seperate establishments

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about 9 years ago

Religion is a choice and people can choose what to be. I'm wiccan and i still believe in God, just a different one and not just one, many.