By Tyson Thorne

January 20, 2015

BibleBanned large

As this site’s purpose is to teach people to think Biblically, a couple news stories out of Florida caught our attention. The first is a fifth-grade teacher at a public school attempting to keep a student in her class from reading his Bible during free time, and the second is a high school stopping the distribution of Bibles – and any other religious books – from being distributed on their campus. If you are a student or a parent of a student, this special report is a must-read.

May of last year Swornia Thomas told her student, Giovanni Rubeo, that he could not read his favorite book during “free reading” time. That book was the Bible, the first book printed on a printing press and an international best seller through the ages. The book that helped shape the American Constitution and system of government, the book that has had a greater impact on world history than any other, was banned from her classroom. She even left a message for Giovanni’s father on their home phone, stating “I noticed that he [Giovanni] has a book–a religious book–in the classroom. He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom.” After threat of litigation from the Liberty Institute, the school has lifted the ban and promised to train its teachers in upholding student’s First Amendment rights.

The Broward County School District case is not an isolated instance. Public school teachers have been using scare tactics to outlay the Bible in classrooms for decades, a process helped along by the National Education Association. When in school at Lakewood High School here in Colorado, I remember the teacher of my class on comparative religions telling me, in front of the class, that if I brought my Bible to class once more she would fail me. My response, to allow her to fail me and let the courts decide who was right in the matter and a discussion with the Schools administration resulted in her backing down. That was in the late 1980’s.

The truth is ever since the National Education Association helped stamp out Christian and Biblical influence in the classroom, test scores have gone down year over year. When I asked Congressman Jared Polis (Democrat, Colorado) about the matter at an open forum meeting two years ago his response was dismissive, stating, “I don’t think there is a correlation between the two.”

Just last week a Florida High School banned the distribution of Bible’s and other religious materials on campus altogether, reversing a policy that was previously in effect. For years, on National Freedom of Religion Day (January 16) a foundation would donate Bible’s to be placed on a table where students could take one if they chose to do so. When a local satanic church and the Freedom from Religion Foundation pressured the school into making alternate religious materials available the same way on the same day, the school banned all religious material.

This case is a bit different from the others as the action is not student initiated. The school does have the right to keep outside bodies from distributing anything on campus. The school does not have the right, however, to keep students from doing so or to keep outside organizations from distributing materials to students on public sidewalks adjacent to the school. It will be interesting to see how this story develops and what policy the school ends up implementing. urges Christian students to make Bible’s available to any who would like them at their school, as such action is protected under the First Amendment. We further urge parents to back their children if they decide to bring the Bible into their classroom and give them the support they need to be bold.

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