Oklahoma Public School District Under Fire For Distributing Bibles to Students

| by Tony Tran

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed letters of complaint after numerous Oklahoma public schools began distributing Bibles to their students.

“It is unconstitutional,” said Andrew Seidel, staff attorney for the organization which seeks to ensure religion and public schools remain separate.

Officials from the group say they sent letters of complaint to 26 Oklahoma school districts after hearing that Gideons International -- an organization known for distributing bibles on school campuses -- and the son of a state representative had passed out Bibles to fifth-graders in the state.

Jamison Faught is the 26-year-old son of state Rep. George Faught. Despite the controversy, Rep. Faught told the Oklahoman that he supported his son’s decision to hand out the Bibles.

“Passing out the scriptures -- you certainly can’t be blamed for that,” he told reporters. “What happens is, this group has used scare tactics … The great thing about Oklahoma is that I’ve been at a lot of school activities where, at least in our area, we still pray before football games. We still -- some people pray before meetings and certainly honor our God-given rights.”

Seidel told reporters that his organization received a complaint about the Gideons from a concerned individual who saw a Facebook posting by Jamison Faught in which he wrote about spending the morning passing out Bibles to fifth graders.

“These allegations, if true, violate the Constitution and breach the trust between the District and parents,” he wrote in a letter to the superintendent of one of the school districts.

“Last several years, we’ve been able to do it at every school in McIntosh, Okmulgee and Okfuskee counties except for two,” Jamison Faught said on Facebook. “Last year, the Checotah principal not only personally took us to each classroom, but he helped us hand them out!”

Source: The Oklahoman Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Ryk Neethling/Flickr