Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Meyer (Petitioner), was tried and convicted of teaching reading in German to a 10-year-old student in violation of state laws regulating the teaching of foreign languages.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The right of parental control also extends to the type of education children receive.
Issue. May the State of Nebraska outlaw foreign-language instruction?
Held. No. Justice James McReynolds (J. McReynolds) notes that “mere knowledge of the German language cannot be reasonably regarded as harmful.” As such, it is difficult to ascertain why the Respondent should so influence the educational opportunities of the children of the State and interfere with parental choice of educational experiences.
The power of the State to compel attendance at some school and to make reasonable regulations for all schools, including a requirement that they shall give instructions in English, is not questioned.View Full Point of Law