Debate Continues About Oklahoma Teacher Handing Out Bibles In Class

| by Kendal Mitchell
Bible In School.Bible In School.

The debate whether a public school teacher can distribute Bibles to students continues as a humanist legal group threatens an Oklahoma school with a lawsuit.

Appignani Humanist Legal Center, a national organization that provides legal assistance for those facing issues with the separation of church, wrote an email to Duncan Public Schools officials concerning a teacher giving out Bibles to her third grade class.

According to the complaint, a teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Duncan, Oklahoma, handed out Bibles during class and asked if any students wanted to take a copy home. One student reportedly felt peer pressure to take a copy for himself, said the email.

Appignani Humanist Legal Center said the school district has until April 10 to respond to the complaints or it could face a lawsuit.

Parents responded with mixed reactions to the accusations.

"We're not all Christians. And even if we were, still not everybody would practice the same. And we have to have tolerance for all different types," said one parent to KSWO News.

Parents, students and dozens of community members changed their profile pictures on Facebook to photos of Bibles in classrooms in support of the teacher. Many said they think she did nothing wrong.

"I actually talked to my daughters about it and I asked them if they'd want to take their Bibles to school," said Candice Barnes-Padilla, a parent at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.

Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, a national First Amendment rights group, said they think it is too early to determine whether or not the allegations are correct.

Some said they think the debate will open the door to more dialogue about religion’s role in the everyday lives of Duncan community members.

"I think Duncan is a very shielded, small town. I'd really like to see these small town school districts become more aware that we really need to be more open to other religions in the area as well," the concerned parent said.

Sources: KSWO

Photo Credit: AP Via The Huffington Post