Monday, May 21, 2007

School district sued for handing out bibles

The ACLU has sued an eastern Louisiana school district, on behalf of a Catholic family.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court on behalf of the parents of a fifth-grader at Loranger Middle School in Tangipahoa Parish, who were upset that Gideons Bibles were being given to students on school property during class hours.


The lawsuit details an instance in which the girl's class was told by their teacher to pick up their New Testament Bibles in front of the school office. The girl ended up in a line with the entire fifth grade, while two men handed each student a Bible and said, "God bless you."

"With her classmates and teachers looking on, Jane accepted the Bible out of a feeling of coercion and fear that she would be criticized, ridiculed and ostracized," Cook wrote in a statement about the lawsuit.

As described, and I see little reason to doubt the description, this would be a clear endorsement of a religious stance by the school - something that is quite clearly against the 1st amendment, since the school is a public school.

The reason why I see little reason to doubt the description, is that it's the fifth time that particular school district has been sued by the ACLU on a religion-related issue during the last 13 years.

I'm happy that a religious family choose to stand up for the freedom of religion, and the equally important implicit freedom from religion.

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