HAWTHORNE, N.J (Sep. 5)
The Board of Education here today defied the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and has ordered the town’s six schools to continue the reading of the Bible and prayer recitation observances in classes which opened here today. The decision, which was voted unanimously by the Board, followed a ruling by a New Jersey court that the Supreme Court ban applied in this state.
Board of Education attorney Alexander Fasoli said that the Board’s decision was in line with the policies of Alabama, Delaware and Florida. He said the attorneys general of those states feel that the Supreme Court decision “doesn’t affect their states and we feel it doesn’t affect ours.”
Joseph Hoffman, counsel to the state education commissioner, said that nothing immediate would be done to force compliance by the Hawthorne School Board with the Supreme Court ruling. “We’re not going to do anything now in the hope that local authorities can convince these people that what they are doing is wrong.”
In nearby Elizabeth, the Rev. William S. Smothers, vicar of the Grace Episcopal Church, announced he would open his church 10 minutes before each school day to hold religious exercises for public school children.