Bellview Elementary School has learned a valuable lesson. It will no longer allow Gideons International to distribute bibles in its hallways.
After receiving several complaints from concerned Arkansas parents and citizens, FFRF wrote to Rogers Public Schools Superintendent Janie Darr on Oct. 27, 2011. Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott pointed out that the practice of allowing Gideons International or other evangelizing Christian organizations to hand out bibles in public schools is a violation of the Constitution. This case was especially egregious as the proselytizing occurred inside an elementary school, during the school day.
FFRF did not receive a response until an additional letter was sent to the school district. On Jan. 27, an attorney representing the district notified FFRF that the matter had been settled. "Based upon Dr. Darr's recommendation, the Rogers School District has informed the Gideon organization that it will no longer allow the distribution of Bibles on school property."