Teacher Distributes Bibles During Easter Week

And here we have yet another teacher who thinks that part of her job is pushing her religion on her students. A teacher in Duncan, Oklahoma distributed Bibles to her students last week and the American Humanist Association’s Apignini Humanist Legal Center has written a letter to the school about it.

Today the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to officials at Duncan Public Schools and Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Duncan, Oklahoma, protesting classroom Bible distribution by an elementary school teacher.

According to the letter, on April 2, 2015, during the period observed by Christians as Holy Week, a third-grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School passed out Gideon Bibles to her students during class time. The teacher made an announcement that she would give Bibles to students who wanted one, and she then handed out the Bibles at her desk. Nearly all of the students went to her desk to receive one.

The American Humanist Association was informed of the issue by a concerned parent whose child, a student in the class, unexpectedly came home with a Bible. After seeing so many other students take Bibles, the child in question felt pressured to do so as well. In response, the child’s mother contacted the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center to report this violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

“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,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “Numerous cases make clear that public schools cannot assist the Gideons in distributing Bibles to school children.”

“There can be no question that this teacher and this school were engaged in the promotion of Christianity,” said David Niose, the American Humanist Association’s legal director. “This kind of activity is a clear violation of the principle of church-state separation.”

Why does this keep happening? Because 99% of the time, it isn’t caught. That same pressure that makes a kid feel like they have to follow the crowd also usually keeps that kid’s parents from complaining about it for fear of making their child and themselves a target for inevitable hostility from the local community.

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  • raven

    Sort of OT.

    The War on Easter was a big disappointment. Again.

    Usually, it is xians who kick an own goal. Since Easter is a Pagan festival named after a Pagan goddess, some of them hate that name.

    They keep trying to call it Resurrection Sunday. No one pays much attention.

    Two years ago, the local churches handed out white cardboard signs with something or other Resurrection Sunday for people to put on their front lawns. It looked pretty tacky. I haven’t seen one since.

  • John Pieret

    The teacher made an announcement that she would give Bibles to students who wanted one

    But … but … see, she wasn’t forcing them on the kids! She was only giving them to kids who wanted them … and who probably didn’t want to walk past her desk, under her gaze, without taking one. Even third-graders know better than to piss off the teacher.

  • Look, Ed, since Obama came to power, Public Schools are the only place us Christians have left to get Bibles.

  • eric

    …and the children cheered as finally, all the desks at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School were level.

  • Can you imagine the shitfit if a teacher distributed the Koran? Or a satanic text?

  • mordred

    Ah, that reminds me of a nice example on the difference betweem Germany and the US where religion is concerned.

    German public schools do have religious education of course, so the separarion of church and state is pretty much ignored in school anyway and nobody made a fuss when the Gideons distributed bibles in all classes by appointment. In our class, they were named Throw-bibles as soon as the next brake. Nobody made a fuss about the tattered remains in the wastepaper baskets either.

    Okay, this happened in the 80s, but I I don’t think it would be much different today.

  • skinnercitycyclist


    “…and the children cheered as finally, all the desks at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School were level.”

    If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

    If teacher gives you bibles, make table shims.

  • Childermass

    Sadly the Gideon Bibles don’t have the Old Testament other than Psalms and Proverbs. While the NT does have barbarism, it nothing compared to the OT. If anything we would like the kids to read it. (Of course we don’t want the clear government endorsement implied here.)

    If nonbelievers should put up billboards, etc. the best one we could do would be in line of “Please, read your Bible — [some nonbelieving group’s name] [Some URL]”

  • dõki

    As a thought experiment, consider what would have happened if she was handing out Korans instead of the Bible. Or the Communist Manifesto.