bible

A Gideons Bible distributed by Gideons International.

Duncan Public Schools is investigating an allegation of a teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary passing out Bibles in a classroom on April 2, the day known to Christians as Maundy Thursday.

The Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to the school district and Woodrow Wilson principal after the center was contacted by a parent whose son allegedly came home with a Bible.

The teacher told students she had Bibles at her desk and asked if anyone would like one, according to the letter.

The Bible in question is a small New Testament Bible allegedly distributed by Gideons International, which is a group of Christians known to distribute Bibles and New Testaments.

Appignani Humanist Legal Center Attorney, and author of the letter, Monica Miller said the child felt pressured to take a Bible after many other students did.

The Appignani Humanist Legal Center, a national nonprofit organization whose legal center focuses on separation-of-church-and-state issues, argue the incident violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

New Duncan Public Schools Superintendent Melonie Hau said because school was closed Friday for an inclement weather day, they haven’t had a chance to investigate the incident, but plan to.

“We haven’t had a chance to conduct a full investigation, but we will,” Hau said.

Miller calls for school officials to make assurances that teachers in the school district will be informed they’re not allowed to give Bibles to students or persuade students to take Bibles during class in the letter.

“What makes this particular incident so egregious is the impressionable nature of elementary-school students, who are more likely to see their public school’s involvement in disseminating religious materials as an endorsement of that religion,” Miller said. “Numerous cases make clear that public schools can’t assist the Gideons in distributing Bibles to school children.”

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