FFRF assures Gideon-free school zone in Tennessee (February 21, 2014)

A complaint by the Freedom From Religion Foundation ensures bibles will no longer be distributed by the Gideon International in a Tennessee high school.

A concerned parent informed FFRF that the Gideons were allowed to distribute bibles in Madisonville Intermediate School. A parent reported that at different times during the day, teacher took their classes to the guidance counselor’s office where members of Gideons International preached at students, then handed each student a Christian bible.

FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent a letter in December to the district explaining why bible distribution entangles the district with unconstitutional religious endorsement:

“The District may not allow any religious groups to enter school property to distribute religious literature. Even if the students are not forced to accept these bibles, the school sends a clear message to the children in its charge who are non-adherents ’that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community.’”

On Feb. 21, the Monroe School District responded that it would not allow further distribution of Gideon bibles and would “work diligently to ensure student rights under all laws are upheld.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation