June 17th will mark the 50th anniversary of Abington School District v. Schempp, the Supreme Court case that finally ended mandatory Bible readings in public schools.
Abington Senior High School, where a young Ellery Schempp took a stand against reading the Bible, is in Pennsylvania, which is why it might strike you as a little strange that the Public School Code of 1949 — the document explaining how the state’s public schools must operate and which gets amended when needed — still includes Section 1516, laying out how “at least ten verses from the Holy Bible shall be read, without comment, at the opening of each public school on each school day”:
Yes, it’s completely unenforceable. Yes, the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. But it’s still in the books.
But if Rep. Mark Cohen gets his way, Section 1516 will soon be eliminated.
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