New Jersey Town Defeats Release Time Proposal Opposed by Jews

The Board of Education of Stratford, a town near Camden, defeated by a tie vote a motion to institute release time religious education after the Camden Country Jewish Community Relations Council informed the board of its opposition to the plan.

The vote of four to four took place at a board meeting at which the faculty of all schools went on record as also opposing the plan. Some churches and a Bible society supported the proposal. The board also heard a report that only 300 parents out of 1,100 queried by a questionnaire said they would enroll their children in a church school if a release time program was instituted. Failure of the proposal to get a majority vote of the board returned the issue to the status of a 1958 resolution rejection rejecting the proposal.

The JCRC contended, in its statement to the school board, that public schools should not become involved in any religious instruction program and that it was wrong for children to be deprived of instruction in the school because others attended religious school. The practice in the plan is that children not attending outside religious instruction remain in public school but receive no instruction for that period.

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