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• Does a state law requiring all primary and secondary school students to receive instruction regarding "AIDS" and drug abuse violate the constitutional rights of parents who are opposed to such instruction on the basis of their religious belief? No, concluded a New York state appeals court. The parents who challenged the law were members of the Plymouth Brethren, a devoutly religious group dedicated to strict adherence to Biblical teachings and separation from evil influences. Recognizing the sensitive nature of the curriculum, the law permits parents to exempt their children from in-class AIDS instruction by applying for an exemption and agreeing to provide suitable home instruction. Further, the law allows a child to be excused generally from the study of health and hygiene upon a verified petition by an authorized religious representative asserting that such study conflicts with ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1990