Proselytizing teacher ‘no longer employed’

Lewis Public Schools in Lewis, Kansas, will no longer allow staff to facilitate distribution by the Gideons of religious materials. A complainant contacted FFRF after a fifth-grade teacher told students to cross the street unescorted to receive a bible. The teacher lined the students up, told them to cross the street to get the bibles, but did not accompany the children because she believed this made her actions legal.  

When the complainant’s child refused a bible because the student’s family was not religious, the teacher asked the student, “Do you always do what your parents tell you to do?” 

The complainant noted that bible distribution by Gideons at the school has been going on for 30-some years. 

FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent a letter on May 21 to Superintendent Virgil Ritchie, pointing out why forcing students to accept religious literature is predatory and illegal. On June 10, Ritchie responded that it had been decided that “Lewis Elementary School will not allow The Gideon Society to distribute materials during the school day or on school grounds. The teacher mentioned in your letter is no longer employed by the school district.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation