A mother sued her child’s school district in West Virginia over their 75-year practice of putting kids in Bible classes.
The mother, whose child is a kindergartner, says her child is being forced to take these classes at a Mercer County elementary school or face ostracism if she doesn’t, Fox News reported.
The mother is identified as “Jane Doe” while her child is identified as “Jamie” in the lawsuit backed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
“Jamie will either be forced to attend Bible indoctrination classes against the wishes and conscience of Jane Doe, or Jamie will be the only or one of only a few children who do not participate,” the lawsuit says.
“Jamie will therefore be made conspicuous by absence, and essentially be identified as a non-Christian or nonbeliever, subjecting Jamie to the risk of ostracism from peers and even school staff.”
Teresa Russell, an administrator for Mercer County Public Schools, told the Associated Press that the Bible courses are voluntary electives and they haven’t been officially notified about the suit.
She said data for the number of schools and children participating in the classes hasn’t been compiled yet for this year.
“I can verify that we do have a Bible in the Schools program. I can verify that we do supervise that particular program,” Russell said. “It is an elective course that students opt to take.”
Russell told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that courses are financed by a non-profit group and that the 19 elementary and middle schools in the system do provide alternative courses.