Imprisoned Ohio Amish can skip high school classes

CLEVELAND - The Amish imprisoned in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio will no longer be required to attend high-school equivalency classes behind bars.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Wednesday that Amish bishop Samuel Mullet and his followers are exempted from a policy requiring classes for inmates who lack high school diplomas.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports the decision came days after an attorney for Mullet complained that the policy of compulsory education violated his client's First Amendment right to freedom of religion.

The 67-year-old Mullet is serving his 15-year term in a prison in Texarkana, Texas, and his co-defendants are held in prisons across the country. The other 15 received sentences ranging from one to seven years.

Federal prosecutors are OK with the decision.

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Amish beard-cuttings