FFRF stops Alabama teacher’s bible distribution

An Alabama fourth-grade teacher has been ordered to stop giving bibles to her students after the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote a letter of complaint on behalf of a parent. In December 2009, the parent reported, the teacher gave bibles stuffed inside Christmas stockings as gifts to all her students at Forest Hills Elementary in Florence. Two previous complaints were unacknowledged by the school, the parent said. In a June 4 letter of complaint to Superintendent Kendy Behrends, FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert noted that federal courts have uniformly ruled that bible distributions to students at public schools during instructional time is prohibited: When that occurs, elementary schoolchildren are given the “impression that the school endorse[s] a particular religious belief: Christianity.” Behrends responded in writing (June 6, 2010): The teacher “will be notified this week of her wrongdoing. It will be requested in writing that she cease and desist the distribution of any religious materials or any discussion of religion unless it abides by the State of Alabama approved courses of study that cover religion. She will also be given professional literature to read that is designed for educators, whereby her responsibilities are made clear regarding the separation of church and state.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation