In 1948, the United States Supreme Court ruled that religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional in McCollum v. Board of Education.
In the 1940s, Champaign County had a religious teaching program. For a thirty-minute period, teachers released students to attend the religious study of their choice. The churches would hire and send teachers to the schools to teach the religious classes. The school did not require students to take any religious classes, though they released all students from regular classes for this religious instruction.
Then Vashti McCollum filed a suit against the Board of Education. She said that these courses violated the first and fourteenth amendment because of the use of tax or government schools teaching religion on their property. The lower court in Illinois ruled that the Board of Education did nothing wrong. The case continued up until the United Supreme Court received the McCollum v. Board of Education case.
In a landslide victory of 8-1, McCollum won. The Supreme Court ruled that using the tax-maintained public schools for religious education violated the constitutional. Schools no longer could teach religion in public schools.
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