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ICC Note: Following a letter of complaint from the American Humanist Association (AHA), a Kansas school district has decided that Gideon International may no longer offer Bibles to students at one of the local elementary schools. Although students were not forced to take the Bibles, as they were placed on a table for interested students to take freely, the AHA insisted that this practice violated the US constitution’s Establishment Clause. The group argued that this practice communicated that the school endorsed Christianity above other religions.

By Heather Clark

01/07/2018 United States (Christian News Network) – Representatives for Gideon International will no longer be allowed to make Bibles available to students at an elementary school in Kansas following a complaint from a national humanist organization.

The American Humanist Association (AHA) recently sent a letter to the superintendent of Herington Schools and the principal of Herington Elementary School to advise that it had been contacted by the parents of several children who were unhappy with a recent one-day Bible distribution.

According to the correspondence, the Bibles were placed on a table in a commons area where those interested could freely take a copy.

“Your school district has allowed an outside religious organization, believed to be the Gideons, to distribute Bibles to young children at Herington Elementary School. 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 and we hereby demand assurances that this practice will discontinue immediately,” the letter, written by attorney Monica Miller, read.

It asserted that allowing the Bible placement sends the message that the school and district endorse Christianity.

“By assisting Gideons in distributing Bibles to a captive audience of elementary students, the school district sends the ‘unequivocal message that’ the school district, ‘as an institution, endorses the religious expressions embodied’ in the Bibles, and thus violates the Establishment Clause …,” Miller wrote.

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