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American Jewish Committee Hears Charge N.Y. Released-time System is Unlawful

Dr. Vivian T. Thayer, prominent educator and author of “Religion in Public Education,” charged today that New York City’s released-time program of religious instruction helps religious groups spread their faith through an unconstitutional use of the local public school system. Addressing the New York chapter of the American Jewish Committee, Dr. Thayer challenged the claim that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the McCollum case, outlawing the religious instruction program in Champaign, Ill., does not invalidate the local released-time program.

“New York school authorities base their position on the fact that in Champaign, classes in religious instruction met inside the public schools, while in New York classes are held outside the school building,” he said. “Surely this misses the major point in the Supreme Court decision, which held that ‘pupils compiled by law to go to school for secular education are released in part from their legal duty upon the condition that they attend the religious classes.”