This post is courtesy of Ron Gold.
A court has ruled that the Bible shouldn’t be read during show-and-tell for kindergartners:
A kindergartner’s mother cannot read Scripture during show and tell, even if the Bible is the boy’s favorite book, a U.S. appeals court ruled.
“Parents of public school kindergarten students may reasonably expect their children will not become captive audiences to an adult’s reading of religious texts,” Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica wrote in Monday’s split 2-1 opinion, which upheld a lower court’s ruling.
In October 2004, the Marple Newtown School District in suburban Philadelphia told plaintiff Donna Kay Busch that she could not read the Bible passages during her son’s “All About Me” program. The school did permit the boy to discuss a poster that included references to his church as well as his family, pet and best friend.
Busch argued that the young students heard stories related to Passover, Christmas and other religious holidays, but the court concluded there was a “significant difference” between identifying such holidays and reading from Scripture.
I have to agree with the ruling. First of all, reading something as boring as Bible passages will put a class of 5 and 6-year-olds to sleep in no time. Furthermore, they wouldn’t understand them even if they were paying attention. Unless it’s nap time, there isn’t any point in reciting the Bible to kindergartners.
Also, it’s hard to believe that the boy in question was a huge Bible fan. The court thought so too:
The district contended that the case was more about the mother’s interests and motives than her son’s. A family baby sitter described the children’s book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” as the boy’s favorite that year, the school district said.
I find the baby sitter’s claim much more believable than the mother’s. It makes sense that a little kid would prefer a book with pictures of cuddly bears (“Brown Bear”) to a book where a couple of bears kill forty-two boys (The Old Testament).