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Discovering the Man Behind a Boy's Protest

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Discovering the Man Behind a Boy's Protest

Education

Discovering the Man Behind a Boy's Protest

Discovering the Man Behind a Boy's Protest

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/14124191/14124146" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In 1956, 16-year-old Pennsylvania schoolboy Ellery Schempp decided to protest his public school's mandatory prayer and Bible-reading period by reading silently from the Koran. He was ejected from class and then sued the school district.

The case eventually went to the Supreme Court, setting a precedent that banned school-sponsored prayer, a decision that remains controversial to this day.

Host Liane Hansen speaks with Stephen Solomon, author of the book Ellery's Protest — and to Ellery Schempp himself.