An elementary school student was told to stop handing out Bible verses at school and a Christian legal group is taking action.
Christina Zavala of Palmdale, California, gave her 7-year-old son Bible verses to pass out to other students at the Desert Rose Elementary School. But school officials told Zavala's son, referred to as “C” in the press release from the Liberty Counsel, said he could only pass out the religious materials at the school gate during after-school hours.
“The Zavalas and C complied with the school gate directive, and soon, as many as 15 fellow students looked forward to the after-school Bible notes,” the Liberty Counsel claimed. “However, on May 9, 2016, Principal Melanie Pagliaro approached Mr. Zavala at that location, and demanded that C only hand out the notes on a public sidewalk, far from the exit, off school property. The family immediately complied.”
But later that day, a Los Angeles deputy sheriff arrived at the Zavala's home and said C must stop sharing the religious materials with other children because "someone might be offended,” according to the Liberty Counsel.
The Zavalas now claim their constitutional rights have been violated and have retained the Liberty Counsel to act on their behalf.
“This is so true and we are learning first hand to about our 'rights' as Americans, and learning to walk in the Grace and Truth God has given us through Jesus,” Zavala wrote on her Facebook page. “Our kids don't have a [junior] Light, they have the Light of Christ Jesus just like us. Be Bold in Love and Truth! God is Awesome we give Him ALL the Glory!!!”
Also on Facebook, Zavala defended the actions of the officer and a teacher, both of whom she said were just doing their jobs.
“We want to clarify that the officer did not scare [C]. He just misinformed about what our rights are, what the school 'policy' is,” Zavala wrote. “He was sent by the school but was not mean. when I asked [C] why he thought the officer had come to our house he said 'He was here to give us bibles??'”
She continued: “And about my son's teacher, she is amazing and has been a great teacher, she was concerned for her job and the 'policy of the school.' She did not want to get in trouble. I do not agree and I was sad and mad with her telling [C] in front of his class lined up outside that he could not share his bible stories. This is not about drama but this is about Jesus being the Way the Truth and the Life!”