Religion

Michigan School Officials Evict Bible Camper After Receiving Complaints

| by Kendal Mitchell
article imagearticle image

School officials in Michigan changed some of their policies after a parent complained in late February about a bible class being offered during recess and lunch.

Before the complaint, a local group called Bible Club Ministries would drive a camper to elementary schools in the Hudsonville School District to teach bible classes during students’ free time.

The side of the camper reads, "Public education can also include the Bible." The phrase caught the eye of a parent, who proceeded to contact the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists.

“In no case is a Bible class allowed on public school property while school is in session, this means during recess, this means during lunch hour,” Mitch Kahle, a representative from the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists, told ABC News.

The school district has evicted the group and told them they could not park their camper on school property.

The Michigan Department of Education created a rule in 1984 banning religious groups from instructing children while on school property. School staff members are also not allowed to encourage or discourage participation in a religious program.

However, public school students can take part in religious activities during school hours, as long as the instruction does not occur on campus.

“We have since addressed this with Bible Club Ministries International,” said a representative from the district in late February, WWLP reports. “It is their intention to make adjustments to their schedule to continue to offer this opportunity to students and their families either before or after school.”

An administrator from the Hudsonville School District told ABC News that he did not know that allowing a Bible class on school property violated state Department of Education code until lawyers told him otherwise.

“In the future, any such [religious] instruction will not occur on school property during the school day,” Catherine A. Tracey, an attorney for the school district wrote, according to Patheos.

Sources: ABC 2 News, Patheos, WWLP

Photo Credit: Fame Magazine, Patheos