The Public Interest

Religion, textbooks, and the common school

Charles L. Glenn

Summer 1987

SEVERAL CASES that are making their way through the federal court system are causing alarm among supporters of public education. In a Tennessee case, the court found that a local school system violated the First Amendment rights of parents and students by requiring that the latter read a particular series of texts that violated their religious beliefs. In an Alabama case, the court found that the use of certain textbooks in public schools represented an unconstitutional “establishment of religion.”

Download a PDF of the full article.


to your National Affairs subscriber account.

Already a subscriber? Activate your account.


Unlimited access to intelligent essays on the nation’s affairs.

Subscribe to National Affairs.