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Compulsory Attendance “The Amish Exception” Wisconsin v. Yoder 1972.

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Presentation on theme: "Compulsory Attendance “The Amish Exception” Wisconsin v. Yoder 1972."— Presentation transcript:

1 Compulsory Attendance “The Amish Exception” Wisconsin v. Yoder 1972

2 “Amish Paradise” Original Case Green County Wisconsin Compulsory-Attendance – Can’t stop at 8 th grade Amish Violation of 1 st & 14 th amendment rights – After 8 th grade the environment is in opposition to faith Conclusion County fines defendants $5 each. Tells them to go to school!

3 Issues Wisconsin: Children need to be educated to age 16 – To participate effectively & intelligently in our political system Self reliance Self sufficence Amish: 8 th grade Sufficient – Student achieve adequate education in the 3R’s by 8 th grade The additional 2 years are unnecessary for Amish kids. Formal high school is an environment hostile to their beliefs. – Competitive Academically Athletically – Social pressures Styles Manners Ways – Takes children away from the community during formative adolescent years.

4 Rules Wisconsin: Compulsory-attendance law – Children attend school to age 16 Amish: Violation of 1 st & 14 th amendment rights

5 Analysis Wisconsin argues Not self reliant – Become dependant on the system Fosters Ignorance Kids are just being used as child labor on the community farm(s) Amish defense Communities have 200+ years of history indicating their system of vocation is effective, and communities are self reliant They reject public welfare (exempt from social security) An informal vocational education continues for these children. – 1 or 2 years of high school does little to prepare a child for life in an Amish community

6 Conclusion #2 “Education must be assessed in terms of its capacity to prepare the child for life” #3 “When Thomas Jefferson emphasized the need for education as a bulwark of a free people against tyranny, there is nothing to indicate he had in mind compulsory education through any fixed age beyond a basic education” #1 “A State’s interest in universal education, however highly we rank it, is not totally free from a balancing process when it impinges on fundamental rights and interests, such as those specifically protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the 1 st Amendment, and the traditional interest of parents with respect to the religious upbringing of their children so long as they……Prepare them for additional obligations.”

7 Conclusion cont. #5 “It cannot be overemphasized that we are not dealing with a way of life and mode of education by a group claiming to have recently discovered some “progressive” or more enlightened process for rearing children for modern life.” #6 “it was incumbent on the State to show with more particularity how its admittedly strong interest in compulsory education would be adversely affected by granting an exception to the Amish…” #4 “The 1 st and 14 th Amendments prevent the State from compelling respondents to cause their children to attend formal high school to age 16.”

8 Other Exceptions The Amish have effectively used a similar argument to obtain: A congressionally granted exception to social security taxes Exemption from local building codes.

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