A school district is drawing controversy for a flyer announcing a nationwide one-day event that invites students to bring their Bibles to school.
“Bring Your Bible to School Day,” an event sponsored on October 8 by Focus on the Family, seeks to celebrate religious freedom. Students who celebrate the event are invited to read and talk about the Bible during non-class time.
The day is one of many events that Folsom Cordova Unified School District in California promotes, says district spokesman Daniel Thigpen, according to local NBC affiliate kcra.com. He added the district permits most flyers to be emailed to parents as long as they do not promote violence or hate, and that district attorneys approved the “Bring Your Bible to School Day” flyers.
Nevertheless, some parents have complained the flyer promoting the Bible event is discriminatory and should not have been distributed because the event will cause some students to feel uncomfortable.
“We all should be able to practice what we want, but not in our public schools,” said Jessica Braverman Birch of the Jewish Community Relations Council. “It will not only make Jewish children feel uncomfortable, but those who are Hindu, those that are Muslim, those who pretty much have no faith that they practice.”
The news reports state the flyer was sent to 20,000 families throughout the school district and that “many parents say they’re upset, calling this a blatant disregard for the separation of church and state.” The report adds that school policy states materials that “discriminate against, attack, or denigrate any group on account of gender, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, or any other unlawful consideration; or promote one group over another” are prohibited.
“This is not a district or school-sponsored event in any fashion or form,” Thigpen said, adding that district attorneys said it would be discriminatory if the Bible flyers were not sent out since information promoting most other events is announced.
“By prohibiting this outside group some of that access, that could have been discriminatory,” he said.