Footnotes (464)



Parental Rights and the State Regulation of Religious Schools

Matthew Steilen

SUNY Buffalo Law School

January 15, 2010

Brigham Young University Education & Law Journal, p. 269, 2009

In Wisconsin v. Yoder, the United States Supreme Court invalidated convictions of several Amish parents for removing their children from school in violation of state mandatory attendance laws. In reaching its decision, the Court argued that protecting the Amish parents’ decisions fit into a longstanding American tradition of giving parents control over the upbringing of their children. Yet the Supreme Court mischaracterized the history of parental rights and state interests in education. Contemporary historical research shows that parents have long ceded a large measure of control to the state in the education of their children. Still, very little has been written about this scholarship in legal journals. This article attempts to remedy this deficiency. It isolates and explores three key periods in the development of state administered public schools, paying special attention to early public funding of religious schools, the Protestant character of the common schools, and Catholic resistance to the use of the King James Bible in common schools. In so doing, this article argues for a “republican” interpretation of early educational practices. Drawing on that interpretation, the article joins a debate between Noah Feldman, Martha Nussbaum, and others about the nature of American religious liberties, and argues that their views are not able to fully acknowledge the history of Protestant evangelizing in public schools.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 72

Keywords: First Amendment, Establishment Clause, Religious Education, Catholic Education, Yoder

Accepted Paper Series

Download This Paper

Date posted: January 18, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Steilen, Matthew, Parental Rights and the State Regulation of Religious Schools (January 15, 2010). Brigham Young University Education & Law Journal, p. 269, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1537330

Contact Information

Matthew J. Steilen (Contact Author)
SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )
John Lord O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 531
Downloads: 71
Download Rank: 203,905
Footnotes:  464

© 2015 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.281 seconds