Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Truth About Bible References In School

A charter school in Nevada issued an apology to sixth grader Mackenzie Fraiser for refusing to let her include a Bible verse in a classroom presentation. For the project, students were asked to make a presentation with an inspirational message. Mackenzie chose to tell how her inspiration comes from her favorite Bible verse, John 3:16. Her teacher promptly told her and the entire class that no one would be allowed to use any Bible verses or quotations from the Book of Mormon for any class assignment. The school then sent an email to Mackenzie’s father telling him that the students should refrain from using religious references in order to follow “school law expectations.”

This is just the latest battle in the war for our schools. Many misguided educators do not realize that the U.S. Department of Education clearly permits students to use Bible verses in class assignments. Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys says that, “if a school official tells students that their beliefs cannot be expressed in class assignments, it teaches them that religion is bad.” While groups like the ACLU might try to intimidate and misinform teachers and school administration, the First Amendment guarantee of the free exercise of religion has been strongly upheld in court time and again.

The parents fortunately hired a constitutional defense lawyer to intervene in the situation. The school was given a ten-day ultimatum to apologize and make the necessary policy changes. The school wisely chose to follow the law and allow Mackenzie to redo her presentation including the Bible verse. If your child is faced with a similar situation, do not give in to the intolerant demands. Yes, the First Amendment does apply to schools.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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