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N. Y. Commissioner of Education Bans “public School Ten Commandments”

The American Jewish Congress and the New York Board of Rabbis today hailed the action of James E. Allen, Jr., New York State Commissioner of Education, in ordering a ban on the posting of the so-called “public school Ten Commandments” in the public schools of the New Hyde Park school district.

Commissioner Allen ordered the ban after hearing an appeal from parents of schoolchildren attending the public schools in the district and arguments presented by Leo Pfeffer, an attorney for the American Jewish Congress and the New York Board of Rabbis,

In a statement issued by Rabbi Edward E. Klein, in behalf of the two organizations, Commissioner Allen was praised for performing a service “on behalf of private religious beliefs as well as in defense of our public schools.” The decision, Rabbi Klein asserted, “helped secure our public schools as the one place in which our children may freely join together without fear of divisiveness because of religious differences.”

“Religious instruction, ” Rabbi Klein continued, “is the obligation of the family and the synagogue or church, Only there may the lessons of the Ten Commandments as well as other religious precepts be communicated adequately, without danger of inter-group misunderstanding, state interference, or dissipation of their full religious significance.”