First Amendment rights groups are threatening to sue an Oklahoma school district for violating the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
The Appignani Humanist Legal Center, a group that advocates for the separation of church and state through the court system, sent a letter to Duncan Public Schools officials calling for the dismissal of a third grade teacher who allegedly gave students Bibles.
According to the letter, the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School teacher told her class, "she had the holy Bible and asked if anyone would like one."
Lawyers from the Appignani Humanist Legal Center said one student felt peer-pressured to take a book after seeing his classmates grab their copies.
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A lawyer from Woodrow Wilson Elementary School said school officials are currently investigating the incident.
Despite the outcry from national groups, the community rallied around the teacher this week.
“In my parents’ generation, when God was still allowed in school and prayer, the biggest problem was kids chewing gum in class,” James Hatcher told KFOR. “Put God back in and get rid of the thugs and gangsters and drugs.”
Others said they think teachers should expose school children to God to give them an example of morality.
“Now all you get is kids learning about violence and things they shouldn’t, I think they should actually learn about God,” Alicia Rouse told KFOR.
Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said they think the problem is not the presence of religion, but that a teacher was endorsing one faith over any other.
“It would be the same violation if the teacher gave out a Koran, a Talmud, it’s all about who the players are in that equation,” said American Civil Liberties Union legal director Brady Henderson.
Lawyers from the Appignani Humanist Legal Center said it plans to sue the school if officials do not reply to their complaint.