Third and fourth grade students Steven and Patrick Peterson have reportedly passed out fake coins with biblical messages at Desert Knolls Elementary School in Apple Valley, Calif. for over a year.
On one side of the coins is the Bible verse "John 3:16," while the other side says: "Where will you spend eternity?"
The San Bernardino Sun reports that Allen and Kelly Peterson, the boys' parents, instructed their children not to distribute the coins during class time, but during recess.
“The kids would take four, five, six of them to school,” Allen said. “A lot of [their friends] will ask them to bring more coins because they’ll take them home to give them out to family and friends.”
According to Patrick, a teacher allegedly told him in January, "I hate them and they’re a distraction to my class. I don’t want to see them anymore."
In another alleged incident on Valentine’s Day, the Peterson boys made homemade valentines, which included candy and the Bible verse coins for their classmates, but another teacher went through the Valentine’s bags and took out all the coins, claiming they were a violation of California law.
Allen Peterson contacted the school principal, but claims he was told that nothing could happen on the school's campus without the principal's permission.
In response, the Christian law firm Freedom X, sent a letter to the Apple Valley Unified School District demanding an apology.
William Becker, Jr., an attorney and CEO of Freedom X, told CBS Los Angeles, "Public school teachers in this day and age can't play dumb anymore. They know the law prevents religious discrimination, yet they can't help but act on their bigoted instincts. That has to stop."
Freedom X recently claimed victory on its website based on a letter it received from Apple Valley Unified School District Superintendent Thomas Hoegerman who said his investigation made "it clear that although no violation of the children's rights was intended, a teacher was mistaken as to obligations under the law."
"I can assure the Petersons that corrective actions are underway," wrote Hoegerman.