Bible Battle in School District - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Annapolis, MO

Bible Battle in School District

 

Bible Battle in School District
By: CJ Cassidy

Annapolis, MO - An age old debate becomes a hot topic in one heartland school district.

At issue: Should leaders at the South Iron School District have allowed a Christian group to hand out b ibles on school property?

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU asked a Federal Court today to step in and stop the group from handing out Bibles to fifth graders during class time.

The controversial issue has school leaders and parents deeply divided, wondering what's next.

"They're given individually to students to take home, and students can choose to take them or not," Superintendent Homer Lewis says. He explains members with Gideons International have handed out bibles to fifth graders for at least ten years.

But after the ACLU stepped in on behalf of some objecting parents in Annapolis, Lewis did some research.

He came up with information that indicated "it was illegal and could put the school's insurance coverage in jeopardy."

"I gave that information to the board and the board decided to go ahead and pursue what we'd done in the past," he says.

Lewis admits that puts him in a difficult position, but the 4-3 vote by board members gave him no choice.

One fifth grader's parent says she doesn't understand why there's an issue at all.

"As a parent, it's a good thing. I think our kids need it. They need a lot more discipline, and a lot more Christian atmosphere in our school," Christina Dooley says.

Still other folks who live in the home of freedom fest, wonder what exactly their freedoms entitle them to.

"I don't think the children should have Bibles until they're old enough to understand the concept of religion. I believe it's wrong to give children materials that in my opinion are slanted towards the belief of a supreme being," Frederick Kurtzborn says.

Superintendent Lewis submitted his resignation from the school district where he's worked for more than 35 years, at the same time the controversy started up.

He says it wasn't the main factor, but refers to it as the straw that broke the camel's back.

No one from Gideon International returned our calls.

We'll keep you posted on what happens next with this case.

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