FFRF causes Ga. school officials to stop hawking bibles to schoolchildren (Jan. 16, 2013)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has put an end to another case of the Gideons peddling their bibles to children in public schools, this time in Bartow County, Ga.

A parent of a student at White Elementary contacted FFRF in September of 2012, concerned that her child was coerced by the Gideons to take one of their bibles. Students were encouraged by the school principal over the morning announcements to accept bibles, she said.

FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel informed Bartow County School System Superintendent, Dr. John Harper in an Oct. 18, 2012 letter, that religious groups such as the Gideons are not allowed to enter a public school and distribute religious materials to students.

“The Gideon practice is a usurpation of parental authority, and can pose safety risks when children have to run a gauntlet of aggressive adults hawking religious literature simply to get to class,” Seidel said.

The superintendent responded via a January 16, 2013 email to say no school official, including principals and teachers, will encourage students to accept a Gideon bible.

Freedom From Religion Foundation