The IUP Libraries will co-sponsor a panel discussion with Torah Bontrager, founder of the Amish Heritage Association, and self-described "Amish escapee, author, Ivy League alumna, and children's rights advocate." Bontrager will share her experiences as a girl who had to leave the Amish community at age 15 so she could attend high school. Members of the IUP faculty will also participate. The panel takes place on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Stapleton Library.

Panelists will discuss education rights, the controversial 1972 Wisconsin v. Yoder decision (which ruled that Amish children were only required to obtain education through the eighth grade), and the long-term impacts of that decision on the Amish community.

In the 50 years since Wisconsin v. Yoder, the environmental movement and human disruption of animal and plant habitats have significantly impacted the lifestyle of the Amish. Many Anabaptist people are being compelled into the English workforce without the formal education and training they need to be competitive in the job market. As a result, the Wisconsin v. Yoder ruling continues to be questioned and debated among many states, and we will continue that debate during our panel.

Dr. Kelly Heider, acting Assistant Vice Provost for the University Libraries, will serve as the moderator for the discussion. This discussion will also feature remarks from Joan Van Dyke, creator of the new ballet Ordnung, which traces the unlived dreams of an Amish girl who wants to dance but is denied education past the eighth grade. Ordnung will show from Thursday, November 10, through Saturday November 12 on the Waller Hall main stage.