School Dist. of Abington Tp. v. Schempp
374 U.S. 203 (1963)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

School Dist. of Abington Tp. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963)

School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp

No. 142

Argued February 27-28, 1963

Decided June 17, 1963*

374 U.S. 203


Because of the prohibition of the First Amendment against the enactment by Congress of any law "respecting an establishment of religion," which is made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, no state law or school board may require that passages from the Bible be read or that the Lord's Prayer be recited in the public schools of a State at the beginning of each school day -- even if individual students may be excused from attending or participating in such exercises upon written request of their parents. Pp. 374 U. S. 205-227.

201 F.Supp. 815, affirmed.

228 Md. 239, 179 A.2d 698, reversed.

Page 374 U. S. 205

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Primary Holding

Public schools cannot sponsor Bible readings and recitations of the Lord’s Prayer under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.