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How would you feel if the principal at your child's school allowed people to come on school grounds to hand out Bibles?

This is a story that was on the news tonight. When I searched for the story online, I found several other accounts of this happening at public schools in other parts of the country. What are your thoughts? Would it matter if it was the Holy Bible, or the Quran, or any other holy book?  What would you do if this happened at your child's school?

WHITWELL, MARION COUNTY (WRCB) - What would you do if a stranger, without permission, made a religious book available to your child at a public school?

It happened at Whitwell Middle School, and one outraged parent contacted Channel 3 via email. He says he's not mad the that his child has a Bible, it's the process that is upsetting him.

"Me and my wife were both raised Christian, I try to raise my kids that way. But, it should be a decision that's left up to the parent, the child, and God," said Eric Wooden, father of two students.

Wooden saw his child reading a Bible after school on Tuesday, he had no problem with that until his child said it was passed out at Whitwell Middle School by two men the vice principal brought in.

That he had a problem with, and contacted Channel 3.

"In this day and age, with impressionable children, every parent monitors what their children watch on TV and listen to, it was just done without my consent," says Wooden.

Marion County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Griffith says it's an annual event for all fifth graders, and that the Bibles were not passed out to students, just left for them to take if they wanted.

"On probably three different occasions they were told it's optional, and if you want one, they're made available," said Dr. Griffith.

We spoke off camera with one of the men who brought the books to the school, and he also said, they did put Bibles out, and they stressed that taking one home is optional.

We also spoke with ACLU who said doing this raises constitutional questions and jeopardizes religious freedom for all families.

When asked if any other religion would be allowed to drop literature off at his schools, Dr. Griffith said they would oblige.

"I think you have to be open to it, to be honest. If you let one in, you're probably obligated to let others as well," says Dr. Griffith.

Griffith says he doesn't see a lot of parents having a problem with what's going on, but he's open to listen to any.

ACLU says if you have a problem, contact them through their web site.

Answer Question

Asked by jsbenkert at 9:50 PM on Apr. 20, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (138)
  • it wouldn't bug me as long as they weren't forcing the kids to take them and talking down to them about how they would go to hell if they didn't believe. I want my children to believe because they want to, not because someone told them to!

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 9:54 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • No strangers should be on school grounds even if they are "religious" people. That would upset me more than the fact that they made a bible of some kind available to my child. I would hope my son would know better than to talk to a stranger in the first place. I would be sooo upset if something like that happened. He needs to lose his job for putting the children in danger.

    Answer by loudnproud87 at 9:56 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • well first off they didn't 'hand them out'....they left them there. secondly, i don't know if i would consider them to be 'strangers' since they had permission to be there from the vice-principal. imo it's a non-issue.

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 9:59 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Well, we get Jehovah's witnesses at our door step at least twice a month and I've seen people handing out religious pamphlets at Walmart.  I take them, smile, and move on.  I don't have to believe as they do to be polite.  At school?  Absolutely not.  IF that happened, I would want my child to take it and smile but that would be in a perfect world.  Reality is, predators have all kinds of masks and I would want my child to scream and run. 


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 10:00 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I would be pissed. As a non-christian parent, even if the bibles were optional, I would still feel like the school authorities were over stepping their bounds by allowing these people with a religious agenda onto public school property at all. If an adult is not there on some educational business, they have no business being there.

    Answer by JeniJonas at 10:02 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Oh okay, I didn't read the part where they dropped them off.  Okay so material just dropped off at the school.  Hmmm.  Who reviewed the material before handing it out?  Anyone from the school?  Any of the kids actual parents?  I still say "no go".


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 10:02 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • – collapse
    Sometimes that's the only way kids find out about God and Jesus because it is not taught or practiced in the home. Normally a child who is being raised in a specific religion already don't give it a second thought, but some kids may have a bad home life or just no religion at all. This opens doors for them to become religious and spiritual. I have heard and read people's testimonies saying that they were introduced to God that way. For kids in bad home situation, it can be a beacon of hope. It reassures them that even if they shown love at home, there is someone who loves them unconditionally. And really, as long as other religions are welcome to speak and they are not made to take one, I would have no issue with it.

    Answer by MamaStuart at 10:03 PM on Apr. 20, 2011 (hidden) + expand

  • Marion County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Griffith says it's an annual event for all fifth graders, and that the Bibles were not passed out to students, just left for them to take if they wanted.

    that would not bother me. however if they allowed people onto school property that physically came up to my child and tried to hand them a bible, i would be upset. i dont think anyone has any business being on school property other than the usual. 


    Answer by tnm786 at 10:08 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I think all religious books should be available to all kids anytime and anywhere, but I draw the loine at preaching on school campuses. Drop off the books, have them madf available at a table in the library and that is that

    Answer by shivasgirl at 10:09 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • It wouldn't bother me as long as the people passing them out weren't trying to force their beliefs on my kids. I want my kids to explore any and all options for their beliefs so other religious dialogues would be better actually. But isn't it illegal to do that on federal grounds with the whole church/state thing?

    Answer by SabrenaLeigh at 10:10 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

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