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18 Bumps

It happened at my daughter's school today.

A couple of weeks ago, I had posted a question about how you would feel if someone came to your child's public school and passed out religious materials to the students. This happened in a middle school in a county that neighbors mine. The principal of the school had given permission for an annual event where two men come on the campus and distribute Bibles to the fifth graders.

I was challenged to do something about it if it bothered me so much.  The problem was that it wasn't my child's school or my school district.  In spite of that, I did email the superintendent of that district asking him questions about the event and how other groups could participate in it.  It's no surprise, really, that I never heard back from him. 

Today, my older daughter said that there was a man in the fifth-grade hallway giving out Bibles to the students when she arrived at school today.

My daughter was ridiculed by her classmates when she did not take one.

I now have a dog in the fight.  Tomorrow, I'll be contacting the principal to see if it was with her permission, and if other religious groups were invited to participate in this "event".  Depending on her answer, I'll take it from there.

What would you do if this happened in your child's school?  Does it matter if it is the Bible or the literature of a different religion?  Do you think public schools are the proper venue for something of this nature?

Answer Question

Asked by jsbenkert at 6:13 PM on May. 10, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (106)
  • Are you surprised that it happened?
    And No I dont' think school's are the proper venue at all.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 6:14 PM on May. 10, 2011

  • That would be a no-no. I would be upset.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 6:15 PM on May. 10, 2011

  • IT falls under freedom of religion and freedom of expression. Unfortunately nothing can be done, but your daughter can always say, "No thanks. I have different beliefs" Instead of making a huge deal about it. There are Bible passer-outers all the time at my college, I always kindly refuse or hand it to someone who might be interested. No drama.

    Answer by Imogine at 6:15 PM on May. 10, 2011

  • Actually, Kristi, I am surprised. I thought our new principal was more liberal than this. They stopped saying prayers before the PTA meetings, and I took that as a good sign that this area might be progressing toward an understanding that public school is not the place for proselytizing or promoting religion by leading prayers or distributing religious materials.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 6:19 PM on May. 10, 2011

  • I think its a good way to explore and learn but no i wouldn't want anything passed out at school i wouldnt mind if it was an after school program with all religions. I have no fear about my dds learning or hearing about other religions but i don't think it should be done during school hours unless its a religion class that wasn't bias. Im a christian if you wanted to know?


    Answer by whitenena at 6:20 PM on May. 10, 2011

  • its hard for me to think of how I'd feel.... my son goes to private christian school. however if he did NOT, I'd be irritated about strangers allowed near my kid, regardless of the material they were distributing

    Answer by hibbingmom at 6:20 PM on May. 10, 2011

  • I do not think a public school and an elementary school is definately a no no IMO.
    WHile I would probably contact the school about it and question it, I'd try to use it as an example for my kids of what tolerance means. While at the same time teaching them that they shouldn't be ashamed or "hush hush" that their parents are atheists. BUT to be prepared for the backlash from such a thing since we live in the bible belt.
    If we are to be tolerant of religious material, I expect othes to be tolerant of my child and our beliefs.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 6:20 PM on May. 10, 2011

  • Freedom of expression does not allow an adult that does not belong there to just walk into a school and start handing out material of any kind.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 6:20 PM on May. 10, 2011

  • Even if it were from my religion, I don't think grade school is a proper venue because it undermines parents rights to teach their chidren religion.

    Now, I can understand a more mature high school level having an assembly or a class promoting religious tolerance which gave a forum for learning the basic beliefs of lots of different faiths.

    Answer by Dkhilly at 6:21 PM on May. 10, 2011

  • Imogine, college is one thing, the hallway in an elementary school is something different. As a college student, I think she would be beyond worrying what her classmates think of her, and she would be mature enough to accept or decline without peer pressure factoring into her decision. I don't have a problem with people having access to the Bible or any other religious book, but to have them distributed to ten-year old students in a public school is not the same as having them available in a library, in church or at home or to college-age adults.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 6:22 PM on May. 10, 2011

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