Amish Prisoners Protesting Education Requirements

May 21, 2013

Some of the Amish sentenced in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio are upset with federal prison education requirements.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons has required some to study for high school equivalency certificates. The Amish claim that violates their First Amendment rights. Defense attorney Edward Bryan says he intends to write a letter of protest to prison officials. He cites a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found Amish children may not be forced to attend school past eighth grade. Prison system spokesperson Chris Burke cites prison rules calling high-school equivalency classes a first step toward returning to society.  Bryan says the Amish deserve a religious exemption.