At least it’s not pornography.
But that’s not what a Buncombe County mother had to say when her son came home from his fifth-grade class at North Windy Ridge intermediate school in North Carolina with a Bible.
American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation, the state’s largest civil liberties group, says the school went too far.
The mother of the fifth grader, Ginger Strivelli, says her son got the bible from North Windy Ridge school in Weaverville in recent days from a box left by the Gideons International group. Strivelli, who is a pagan, doesn’t feel the school should give any religious materials to students.
She was quoted as saying in the huffingtonpost.com article: “It’s totally inappropriate they think they can get away with this. It’s absolutely unbelievable and their attitude is ridiculous.”
However, school officials are of the mind they did nothing wrong. Principal Jackie Byerly said she got approval from the superintendent after the Gideons asked to leave Bibles at the school.
Students were not required to take Bibles, county schools spokeswoman Jan Blunt said. They were told by teachers that the books were available in a box in the main office.
In reference to the Gideons, Blunt was quoted as saying: “They don’t talk with students. They’re not allowed to make a presentation. They quite literally drop off a box and leave them there. They are not handed out at all.”
Per Katy Parker, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation, that would be fine at a high school.
The ACLU of North Carolina is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the guarantees of individual liberty found in the Constitution and laws of the United States and the state of North Carolina. Hot issues the organization concentrates on include racial justice, free speech, the death penalty, human rights, religious liberty, reproductive rights, student and youth rights and voting rights.
The Legal Program has traditionally been the ACLU’s most successful avenue for protecting and enhancing the constitutional rights and civil liberties of North Carolinians. The Legal Program responds to every request it receives and for matters that do not involve civil liberties. The ACLU of NC Legal Foundation works diligently to defend civil liberties such as privacy rights, religious freedom, free speech, and equal protection under the law. On many occasions the ACLU of NC stands alone, often against the prevailing sentiment of public opinion, in its vigilant defense of these fundamental freedoms.
Gideons International, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, is an evangelical Christian organization dedicated to distributing copies of the Bible in over 94 languages and 194 countries of the world, most famously in hotel and motel rooms. The organization was founded in 1899 in Janesville, Wisconsin, as an early American parachurch organization dedicated to Christian evangelism. It began distributing free Bibles, the work it is chiefly known for, in 1908, when the first Bibles were placed in the rooms of the Superior Hotel in Superior, Montana.