Epperson v. Arkansas (1968)
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Epperson v. Arkansas determined that a state's right to control its educational curriculum did not permit it to tailor the curriculum to a religious sensibility. In 1928, Arkansas passed a statute prohibiting public schools from teaching evolution or using textbooks that featured the theory. Years later, on the recommendation of its biology teachers, a Little Rock high school added evolutionary theory to its curriculum. A teacher there, legally prohibited from teaching evolution, filed suit against the state on the claim that the law violated the Establishment Clause, as well as her right to free speech. Using the test formalized in School District of Abington Township, PA v. Schempp, the Court ruled that the Arkansas law was unconstitutional because of its intent to protect a particular religious view. The law had been solely based upon religious, not secular, considerations. Though the state had a right to prescribe a curriculum, it could not establish an official religious view by prohibiting the teaching of contrary scientific theories.