Anytime for 30 minutes every week. James

Anytime I look back to fourth grade I remember getting stickers for doing homework or helping out in the classroom but in the documentary film “The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today” that was not the case for Vashti McCollum’s son James. In James’s case his class can only receive a sticker if they were to all participate in the religious education program that was taught in the Champaign public school that he went to. The religious education class in the Champaign schools had been set up in 1940, and depended on an idea known as released time otherwise called the “Gary plan.” The released time idea let children leave from public school to go to religious place of worship. The religion classes in the state funded schools were for 30 minutes every week. James was the only one in his class that did not participate in the religious education program which made him feel singled out and the staff would sit him on the chair outside the principal known for the chair that troublesome students sit on. This poor fourth grader being singled out and being sent to sit on the chair outside the principal chair only because his religion was not the same religion that was being taught in his public school was not right. When Vashti McCollum had enough of her son being singled out and picked on she took it to court which is known as the famous case, McCollum v. Board of Education of School District No. 71 in Champaign County, Illinois. Vashti was baptized Lutheran but she wasn’t raised in any religion and her father later became an atheist and her family was raised along the same lines. The community reacted horrible to this and after having knowledge that she was suing the school the whole McCollum family was treated horrible. They received physical threats and hate mail. At Halloween, a mob of trick-or-treaters pelted the McCollum family with rotten tomatoes and cabbages. The family cat was even killed in the midst of all this. The McCollum family still did not give up or drop the case. The court argued the school area’s training was an violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which gives that the state won’t set up or support one religion over another religion, or forbid the act of any religion, and furthermore the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which ensures that the law will apply similarly to all individuals. On September 1945, the opening argument by Landon Chapman, McCollum’s lawyer recommended the program was partisan and social weight from understudies and instructors was utilized to get all understudies to take an interest. John Franklin the defense lawyer showed comparative programs existed in 46 states and 80 Illinois communities and brought in James’s teacher and classmates in to try to prove to the court and the judge that James himself was the problem and was odd, and that’s the reason he was always left out and the court ruled against McCollum. To make sure that James was getting the proper education Vashti had James take a train to his grandparents in New York to go to school there. When James was on the train he thanked his mother and that’s when it hit me that the McCollum family has went through a lot; for a son to be thankful to leave the place that his family just to go get an education is a hard choice for a mother to agree too.  She did not give up and appealed the court’s decision, for three long and hard years she fought for her family’s right, and on June 1947 the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case with a new Attorney Walter F. Dodd.  In a 8-1 decision reported on March 1948 the court turned around the decision of the lower courts and held that the school region’s religious program was illegal. A basic issue for the situation was whether the protected restriction on building up religion implied that all groups must be dealt with similarly, as attorneys for Champaign contended was the situation in their schools, or whether it required strict impartiality amongst conviction and unbelief, which was Mrs. McCollum’s fruitful conflict. “The First Amendment rests upon the introduce that both religion and government can best work to accomplish their elevated points if each is sans left from the other in its particular circle,” Justice Black wrote.The case was additionally vital on the grounds that it stretched out First Amendment insurance to singular states by utilizing the due procedure proviso of the fourteenth Amendment as avocation. Every other case that have since tried and keep on testing Thomas Jefferson’s mass of “division of chapel and state,” including school petition, help to parochial schools and partisan religious shows on open property plummet from this case.

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