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School Board Asks Federal Court to Revoke Ban on Bible Reading

January 12, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Abington Township School Board has petitioned the Federal Court to reconsider a ruling enjoining the reading of the Bible in the public schools of the State. The school board asked that the court either dismiss the action against it or provide a rehearing for presentation of additional testimony.

The board was barred from continuing the practice of compulsory Bible reading in the public schools in a suit brought by Unitarian parents, who charged that the compulsory Bible reading was a violation of the principle of separation of Church and State, and infringed on religious freedom. The parents’ contention was upheld by a special three-man court last year.

The school board takes the position that a new State law, which became effective last November, has basically modified the position. The new law states that written requests by parents or guardians will excuse children from Bible readings. According to the school board’s attorney, this rule eliminates the element of compulsion.

If the special court refuses to accede to the school board’s new plea, the board has 60 days in which to file an appeal with the United States Supreme Court.

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