Abington Township v. Schempp

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by tmschmidt2015
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Social Studies
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Abington Township v. Schempp

Abington Township v. Schempp



Separation of Church and State The Constitution of the United States forwards that Congress will “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ("Charters Of Freedom Bill Of Rights", n.d.). Numerous cases were heard in court as to prevent schools from subjecting students to daily devotionals or prayers, due to being in violation of Amendment I. This case is just one of the landmark decisions brought about in 1963 – Abington Township v. Schempp.

In the 1960’s a family by the name of Schempp from Pennsylvania sued the Abington Township School Board. The practice of reading ten Bible verses, and saying a Christian prayer over the speaker every morning was conflicting with their religious views ("School District Of Abington Township V. Schempp", 2015).

Educators & Seperation of Church and StateIt is important to note that the decision of the Supreme Court did not say that religion is to be kept out of school – it is merely stating that the schools cannot promote one religion over another ("First Amendment Center", 2003).Educators can value their student’s different religious values by being respectful of what they believe in and their religious holidays and what not. If there is a particular topic that is taught in class that conflicts with their religious beliefs, this should be handled with the utmost respect and due diligence of the teacher and the school.

What did the educators do?

The School Board fought back against the Schempp's and stated that they could just bring a note exempting their children from the prayer, and Bible readings. The educators apparently thought that this would fix the issue, and they could still have their morning verses and prayer ("School District Of Abington Township V. Schempp", 2015).


Religion has always been a hot topic especially when school is in the mix of it. The Constitution makes a clear statement that Congress is neutral, and they do not govern over any religion and cannot prohibit the establishment or exercise of one’s religion. The Schempp family helped to assure that these laws were held true when they schooled Abington Township and won.

ReferencesCharters of Freedom Bill of Rights. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.htmlFirst Amendment Center. (2003). Retrieved from http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/supreme-court%E2%80%99s-1963-school-prayer-decision-didn%E2%80%99t-ban-school-prayerPolitics Daily (2015). Schempp family photo retrieved from http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/10/29/c-span-supreme-court-series-prayer-in-public-school/print/School District of Abington Township v. Schempp. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/School-District-of-Abington-Township-v-Schempp

Abington Township v.SchemppTina M. SchmidtEDU/105October 12, 2015Diana Soroka

The Outcome

The Supreme Court decided 8-1 in favor of the Schempp family because it violated the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause ("School District Of Abington Township V. Schempp", 2015).

I think that if I were in this situation I would have sided with my students and their families wishes. I would do this for any denominational religious view. We all have different backgrounds and religious or even non-religious and should be respected by anyone in the educational field.


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