Georgia College Distributing Bibles Threatened With Lawsuit


A public college district in Georgia is distributing Bibles this week – and as a result the college is being threatened with a lawsuit if it does not stop.

The move came after Andrew Seidel, employees lawyer for the nationwide Freedom From Religion Basis (FFRF)m was told by a mother or father of the distribution at Cloverleaf Elementary College two many years soon after the group had initial asked the school to quit the practice.  The group says the action is an “appalling violation” of the student’s freedom of believed.

This time Seidel wrote a letter to Bartow County Superintendent John Harper reminding him of his 2012 guarantee to ban the distribution of Bibles in college, incorporating:

“If this occurs once more in Bartow County Schools, FFRF will not create one more letter but alternatively file a lawsuit.”

Seidel did give some credit score to the superintendent, noting that he could not be conscious of the circumstance, as “the Gideons operate by deliberately avoiding superintendents and college boards.”

In accordance to Michael King for eleven Alive Atlanta, one particular mother had questioned why her son had returned residence from college with a bible.

“I was just shocked that the school system would do that,” she advised 11 Alive. “I experimented with to speak to the superintendent. He has not returned my phone.” According to Leo, “We were in class, our teacher explained that these people had volunteered to hand out Bibles, and she stated there’s going to be a line in the library.”

Students were offered the selection of taking one particular or not, but according to the FFRF letter, a single little one who did not accept the Bible “was teased and ostracized and forced to defend herself by saying that she ‘believed in God, but in a distinct way.’”

The mother did get a Facebook message from the school, explaining why they were distributing Bibles, reports Will Hall for The Christian Examiner.

“The Gideons are permitted to offer Bibles to college students who wish to choose them up,” the note go through. “It is strictly voluntary and the library was the area in which college students could pick 1 up our librarian did not hand them out.”

Seidel equated the action of obtaining grownups hand out the Bibles to “tobacco businesses making an attempt to get kids when they’re young.”  He said the law is “very, really clear and really strong” pertaining to religion in public schools, supplying the examples of 3 other rulings towards bible distribution in colleges in Indiana, New Jersey and Missouri.

In a separate incident in Orange County, Florida, Seidel had asked the college to discontinue its bible distribution practice, to which the college responded by beginning an “open forum” policy, allowing any individual of any religion to distribute materials.  Seidel then asked about distributing literature pertaining to atheism.  “After that, they generally mentioned, ‘Just kidding,’” he explained.  After the school denied the request, FFRF filed a lawsuit, which the school settled by agreeing to abide by the policy.  FFRF then invited representatives of the Satanic Temple to come distribute informative coloring books.  The school board is presently taking into consideration closing the forum.

Mark Goldfeder, Emory Law College senior lecturer and Law and Religion College students Applications director, advised Beth Greenfield for Yahoo! Parenting that the Florida incident “was a strategic move that’s really brilliant.”  He mentioned that the other three instances referenced had been “not binding” and that “until we have a court ruling right here we have no violation.”  He mentioned the school could usually propose an open forum, but, “What they cannot get around is that after you open this forum, you are not able to keep out other religious groups.”

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