Judge Orders Halt To Distribution Of Bibles In Public School

January 11th, 2008 | Tags: , , , ,

Judge Orders Halt To Distribution Of Bibles In Public School

A rural Missouri school district’s long-standing practice of allowing the distribution of Bibles to grade school students is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled.

An attorney for the school district said Wednesday he will appeal.For more than three decades, the South Iron School District in Annapolis, 120 miles southwest of St. Louis, allowed representatives of Gideons International to give away Bibles in fifth-grade classrooms.After some parents raised concerns and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit two years ago, the district altered its policy — the Gideons and others were still welcome to distribute Bibles or other literature before or after school or during lunch break, but not in the classroom.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry on Tuesday granted a permanent injunction, ruling both practices were illegal. The district court had previously granted a temporary injunction against the classroom distribution, a ruling upheld in August by a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.The purpose of both practices “is the promotion of Christianity by distributing Bibles to elementary school students,” Perry wrote. “The policy has the principle or primary effect of advancing religion by conveying a message of endorsement to elementary school children.”

  1. Lucius
    January 11th, 2008 at 17:40
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Well, we should get the champagne out…

    This is a great (but small) victory for truth and tolerance and equality.