Humanists Stop Bible Distribution in Elementary School

American Humanist Association's picture

For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Couch, 202-238-9088, acouch@americanhumanist.org

Monica Miller, 202-238-9088, mmiller@americanhumanist.org

(Herington, Kansas, January 2, 2018)–The Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC) rings in the new year by defending the First Amendment rights of Kansas elementary students.

Herington Elementary School Superintendent Ron Wilson and Herington Elementary School Principal Donalyn Biehler received a letter today from the AHLC regarding the unconstitutional distribution of Bibles on public school property. The parents of several children attending Herington Elementary School contacted the AHLC to request assistance after Herington Elementary allowed the Gideons to distribute Bibles to students. “The district’s actions in assisting the Gideons in distributing Bibles to elementary students represents a clear breach of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution,” read the AHLC letter written by AHLC senior counsel, Monica Miller, “and we hereby demand assurances that this practice will discontinue immediately.”

The children told their parents that the Bibles were placed on a table in the hallway during regular school hours,” said Miller. “This intentional placement by the principal made the Bibles noticeable to any students in the hallway. Anyone, religious or not, can see that the purpose of this is to promote Christianity.”

The AHLC letter demanded that the school district refrain from leading, authorizing, permitting or condoning the formal distribution of Bibles in any elementary or middle school during school hours; that teachers and staff in the school district be advised that they are not permitted to distribute Bibles to students in class or during class time; and that teachers and staffbe instructed that under no circumstances should they attempt to persuade or invite students to take Bibles during class time.

The letter to Superintendent Wilson and Principal Biehler can be read here.

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Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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