Mountain Home School Makes Bibles Available to Students

NOVEMBER 30, 2006 - Posted at 4:23 p.m. CST

MOUNTAIN HOME, AR - Mountain Home schools superintendent Charles Scriber says the law was followed when Bibles were distributed at Pinkston Middle School in October.  But the American Civil Libterties Union disagrees, saying any distribution of the Christian sacred book at a public school breaks the law.

School officials say they allowed students to pick up Gideon Bibles at the school, but didn't hand them out to every student.  The officials say an announcement was made at lunch that students could leave the cafeteria out a side door, where free copies of the Gideon Bible King James version, New Testament were available.  School officials stacked them in a hall where students could choose to take one or not.  Rita Sklar, ACLU of Arkansas executiver director, said a 1993 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Chicago struck down the practice of distributing Bibles in school.  She said the practice promotes a particular religion, or religion in general, which is impermissable.

There has been no outcry over the situation.  Karen Mora, a parent who told the Baxter Bulletin about the available Bibles, said she'd like to see children learn more about Islam.

So far though, Scriber said no religious groups other than the Gideons have made a request to distribute literature at schools.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)