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Miami Court Trial on Religion in Public Schools Adjourned for Month

A suit for an injunction which would bar a variety of religious practices from Dade County public schools, has been postponed after four days of hearings until the end of August because of a death in the family of presiding Judge J. Fritz Gordon.

The trial, which began last Monday, would halt such school practices as: the regular reading of Bible verses or commentary by teachers on such verses; the distribution of religious or sectarian literature among schoolchildren; the regular recitation of grace or other sectarian prayers; the singing of religious hymns and the observance of religious holidays.

The court action is in the form of two companion cases — one brought by three Jewish parents and a Unitarian and the other by an avowed agnostic, Harlow Chamberlain. Leo Pfeffer, associate general counsel of the American Jewish Congress, is handling the case for the parents. The case marks the first time that an entire constellation of religious practices in the public schools has been attacked in a single suit.