The Amish Only Go to School Until the 8th Grade: True or False?

The Amish Only Go to School Until the 8th Grade: True or False?


Amish children conclude their formal education with the eighth grade.

Is that legal?

Initially, school officials considered the Amish teachers uncertified and under-educated and their lack of high school-level instruction unacceptable. A period of unrest and controversy followed, and some Amish fathers were arrested, fined, and even jailed for taking a stand. Some compromises were reached, but the issue finally came to a head in 1972, when the case of Wisconsin v. Yoder reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Finding in favor of the Amish, the court determined once and for all that Amish schools were to be allowed and that forcing Amish children to attend any school past the eighth grade was a violation of their religious freedom.

What does an Amish person do if he or she wants to learn more after the 8th grade?

Amish adults who require further learning on a particular topic, such as bookkeeping, will teach themselves, learn from a coworker, or take a correspondence course. In some communities, when a high school diploma is required for a job, Amish youth may be allowed to get a general equivalency diploma (GED).

What is the parent’s role in an Amish child’s education?

The National PTA has published a list of the “The 10 Things Teachers Wish Parents Would Do.” Not surprisingly, Amish parents have already been doing many of these things for years, such as setting a good example and encouraging students to do their best. In fact, number ten is central to the way Amish parents operate: “Accept your responsibility as parents. Don’t expect the school and teachers to take over your obligations as parents. Teach children self-discipline and respect for others at home—don’t rely on teachers and schools to teach these basic behaviors and attitudes.”

The Amish would never dream of leaving parental matters such as those described above in the hands of teachers. Instead, they know they are the primary authority figures in their children’s lives and are responsible to raise them up in the way that they should go.

This answer has been provided as an excerpt from the upcoming book, Plain Answers About the Amish Life by Mindy Starns Clark. Learn more below.

Plain Answers About the Amish Life

Plain Answers About the Amish Life
By Mindy Starns Clark
Available September 2013

For Amish fiction readers, young and old alike, Plain Answers About the Amish Life provides a glimpse into an obscure, fascinating world—what the Amish believe and how they live.
Learn more:


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