I wrote earlier about the Tri-State Freethinkers being allowed to passively distribute a humanist children’s book in an elementary school in Kentucky last Friday because the Gideons had done the same with Bibles. Unsurprisingly, some parents reacted with hostility and even pulled their kids out of school that day.
Rumors of prayer circles and other confrontations spread like wildfire Thursday afternoon when parents found out the Tri-State Freethinkers would distribute “Humanism, What’s That? A Book for Curious Kids,” at Liberty, Walnut Hill and Jones Park elementary schools.
“We’ve heard rumors about assemblies or people coming to speak to the students and that’s absolutely not true,” Casey County Superintendent Marion Sowders said. “Legal counsel has advised us every step of the way about how to handle it. Students were not told about it in school but we don’t know what their parents have told them.”Rumors of retaliatory absences may have proven true on Friday, however.
“Our attendance was probably not as good as it normally is,” Liberty Elementary Principal Boyd Harris said. “We feel like there may be some connection there.” Harris could not confirm just how many students missed school. Other school officials would not comment, citing restrictions from Sowders.
Some of the parents and students were not at all happy about it:
A small group of adults and children followed Freethinkers Jim G. Helton and Torey Glassmeyer to Walnut Hill and Jones Park, glowering at them from the parking lot as they delivered the books after 5 p.m. Thursday…
“We’re here to defend God and his glory,” said one woman, who declined to be named. A male companion muttered to himself as he scanned the parking lot for their car.
Um. Why would you think your presence there would do that? And why do you think your god needs to be defended?