Organization hopes to halt Bible classes in school system

By: Catherine Bilkey


ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - The Freedom from Religion Foundation has asked for Bible classes to immediately stop in elementary schools in the Rowan-Salisbury School System.
Channel 9 asked the school district Wednesday if Bible classes being taught in the schools and if children are able to opt out of the classes.

PDF: Freedom from Religion Foundation letter to school
A spokeswoman said the district is still gathering information.
Channel 9 was able to speak to a few children who said they’ve taken the Bible classes at Woodleaf Elementary.
Channel 9 also talked a grandfather who said his grandson took the classes at Woodleaf Elementary, and a mother who has two children who went to Landis Elementary and did not have that option.
Both said the Bible classes are a good idea and should be kept.

“They did a good job for him,” Jimmy Lookabill said. “He took it to heart and he's been a good kid.”
“The Bible stories that they teach children when they're younger, to me, teaches them to be better people, how to treat people better,” Tammy Jenkins said.
But the Freedom from Religion Foundation said they received a complaint from a parent who said the Bible was being taught at Woodleaf Elementary and other schools as fact.
The organization believes the classes are unconstitutional.
“Children are being sent to our public schools for a secular education and religious indoctrination should be at the behest of parents who can privately send their children to Sunday School,” co-founder at the Freedom From Religion Foundation Annie Laurie Gaylor said.
The foundation sent the district a letter.
"Children at that age are too young to make up their minds about religion, much less study it," Gaylor said.
She said the law is on her side. Channel 9 reached out to the district and was told their "attorneys are reviewing the information at this time." Channel 9 also reached out to the teacher named in the Freedom From Religion Foundation's letter but has not heard back yet.

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