The parent of a child in a Wood County School District elementary school in West Virginia reported to FFRF that tables with bibles were set up next to each teacher in every 5th-grade classroom across all of the district’s elementary schools. Another parent alleged that a group of teachers at Jefferson Elementary Center set up a box of Gideon bibles during an assembly involving multiple 5th-grade classes. It was also reported that the group of teachers presented and discussed the bibles prior to offering and distributing them to students. A parent also reported that the school has allowed other religious materials to be distributed, specifically flyers from a local church inviting students and their families to an Easter egg hunt.
“Advancing, preferring and promoting religion is exactly what a school does when it distributes bibles and other religious materials to students during the school day,” FFRF Staff Attorney Christopher Line wrote to Wood County Schools Superintendent Christie Willis. “The actions of the district are especially egregious, as teachers not only distributed bibles, but discussed and promoted them, as well.”
A response from the district assured FFRF that the issue will be addressed.
“It is apparent upon this investigation reacclimating our administrators and teachers to policies and procedures is imperative,” Willis responded. Willis assured FFRF that the issue will be addressed at a district seminar, stating, “The guidance regarding distribution of bibles will be on the agenda and presented to administrators.”