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Atheist Group Threatens Lawsuit After Teacher Hands Out Bibles

Erica Mackey, a third-grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary, had told her students that she had copies of the Gideon New Testament at her desk if anyone was interested in getting one. Almost all of her students went up to her desk for a copy.

One student reportedly felt forced into taking one and as a result the American Humanist Association's (AHA) threatened legal action.

In response the Duncan Public School district in Oklahoma announced that it will prohibit distribution of Bibles and other religious materials.

AHA sent a letter to the principal of the school and the superintendent of the school district that read, “The school’s actions in assisting the Gideons in distributing Bibles to elementary students represents a clear breach of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution and we hereby demand assurances that this practice will discontinue immediately. Elementary students are vastly more impressionable than high school students and are more likely to perceive the school’s actions as an endorsement of religion.”

Scott W. Stone, legal counsel for the district, wrote “All teachers and administrators in the district are being advised that they are not permitted to distribute Bibles or other religious materials to students in class or during class time."

Yet, many parents defended Mackey. Candice Barnes-Padilla, a mother of a Woodrow Wilson Elementary student, said “I hope that Duncan Public Schools can stand behind this teacher. Apparently, they need more teachers like that in our area and our school system.”

Photo: Bible Study Tools, Christian News

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