1982 May 28

Ishmael Jaffree Objects to Alabama Schools’ “Moment of Silence”


In an attempt to permit some form of prayer in its public schools, the state of Alabama enacted a law requiring a “moment of silence” in classrooms at the start of each school day. Ishmael Jaffree filed complaint on this day on behalf of his three children, challenging the constitutionality of the law. The Supreme Court, in Wallace v. Jaffree on June 4, 1985, found the law an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause.

Learn more about Ishmael Jaffree’s story: Peter Irons, The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Court (1990)

Learn more about the Establishment Clause: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/category/religion

Religion in the Public Schools; A Guide for Administrators and Teachers: http://www.aclu-tn.org/pdfs/briefer_religion_in_public_schools.pdf

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