Most Amish students will conclude their Formal education at eighth grade

June 2, 2013

The annual eighth-grade graduation took place Wednesday at Westview School Corp., and about half the graduating pupils were Amish.

For most of these students, the graduation ceremony signals the end of their formal education, as attendance in high school and beyond is considered by many Amish to be contrary to their religion and way of life.

“As a general percentage, between 40 and 45 percent of our students in our eighth-grade class are Amish,” said Randy Zimmerly, superintendent of the Westview School Corp. “We pretty much know that all of those kids are going to decline going on to high school.”

Why, exactly, do Amish students tend to end their formal educations at eighth grade when a majority of non-Amish students continue on through 12th grade and beyond? What’s more, how are they legally able to do it?

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"Before you came to speak, I mistakenly assumed that the Amish had a good sense of the Bible and how important it is to be saved. Because of my assumption, I didn’t worry about them and did not include them in my prayers. I didn’t think I needed to. Now, I know differently. Thank you for opening my eyes to their plight. I will be praying for you and your family and your mission. "

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