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Public Schools May Accommodate Religious Instruction


In Zorach v. Clauson, the U.S. Supreme Court holds that permitting public school students to leave campus during the day for privately taught religious instruction does not violate the establishment clause. Such “release time” programs do not endorse religion, they accommodate it, and thus strike the proper balance between the free exercise clause and the establishment clause, the Court finds. The Court distinguishes between the policy struck down in McCollum v. Board of Education in which school space was used, and this case, in which schools merely adjust their schedules.