Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 1976 Issue »

    The Separation of School and State

    Pierce Reconsidered

    Stephen Arons
    Does the Constitution protect parents' right to pass their values along to their children? Stephen Arons argues that it does, basing his contention on the language and the history of Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the landmark decision that guaranteed private schools' right to do business. The author focuses upon the Court's statement that the state cannot "standardize" children and subsequent decisions and theoretical discussions that have cited Pierce in connection with First Amendment rights. Thus he suggests a First Amendment reading of Pierce, based upon the preservation of individual consciousness from government coercion. This principle would indicate that parents have a right of educational choice where the inculcation of values or beliefs is concerned. In the final part of this article, Arons explains why, if parents have such a right, the present scheme of compulsory attendance and school financing may be unconstitutional.

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    Spring 1976 Issue


    School Desegregation in Large Cities
    A Critique of the Coleman "White Flight" Thesis
    Thomas F. Pettigrew, Robert L. Green
    A Critique of Systematic Education
    Dennis Szilak
    The Separation of School and State
    Pierce Reconsidered
    Stephen Arons
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