Thanks to the Freedom from Religion Foundation and a concerned parent, neither the Gideons nor any other group will be allowed to distribute bibles at S.L. Mason Elementary, a public school in Valdosta, Ga.
The Gideons set up a table in the main hallway of the elementary school and handed out bibles to the young students. When one girl and her friend refused to take a bible, other school children told them they were going to hell.
FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel contacted Valdosta City Schools Superintendent Dr. William Cason in a Feb. 12 letter. “When a school permits evangelists to distribute religious literature to its students, it has unconstitutionally entangled itself with a religious message,” Seidel said. The public schools should protect the personal conscience of students, especially those students of a very young age who were given bibles at the elementary school, he said.
FFRF was informed by the parent complainant that Cason personally contacted her to apologize. Cason said he would update school administrators to let them know the Gideons and other groups are not allowed to enter the schools and distribute bibles.