The Gideons will no longer distribute New Testament bibles to young students in Grove (Okla.) School District, thanks to the Freedom from Religion Foundation and concerned parents who originally challenged the distribution. The Gideons had been distributing their bibles to the district's fifth grade students on an annual basis.
FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel requested in an Oct. 19, 2012 letter that the school district honor constitutional law and stop the illegal distribution of bibles. After citing case law against such distribution, Seidel added in a letter to School Board Chair Dr. Jim Rutter: "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 on school property."
The Grove Board of Education changed its policy on the distribution of written materials to exclude external sources from distributing materials. Dr. Rutter confirmed in a Jan. 7, 2013 email that this policy prohibits the Gideons from distributing bibles.