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Parent complains about Bible giveaway in Lebanon school
Oct 06, 2006 12:00 am
Gideons have given away Bibles at Lebanon Schools longer than Assistant Director of Schools Randall Hutto can remember, but they've never received a complaint until a few weeks ago.
Hutto said the mother of a student at Castle Heights Upper Elementary came to him just over two weeks ago.
"She thought it was unconstitutional to have a Bible passed out in school – or any religious material was the way she put it," Hutto said.
Hutto said he told her the school system would look into the situation. He said it would be up to the school board to decide the fate of the Gideon Bible giveaways at the schools.
A decision isn't likely to come soon. Hutto said there was no rush to make a decision, as the Gideons aren't scheduled to return to the schools until this time next year.
Hutto said the Gideons come into the school each year and offer copies of the New Testament to fifth-grade students. Hutto said he received a Bible from the Gideons when he was in school.
The complaint comes at the same time the Wilson County School system is facing a law suit from the American Civil Liberties Union, who are alleging First Amendment violations at Lakeview Elementary School. The ACLU claims Lakeview promoted Christianity at the school.
Hutto said that situation will have no bearing on the Lebanon Special School District's decision about the Gideon Bibles.
"It's different than what they were looking at in Lakeview," Hutto said. "This is just someone coming up and offering something for free. I don't think they're related at all."