In a time when some are working hard to push all religious influence out of our public schools, the Constitution still guarantees the right of students to practice their faith while at school. To celebrate that right, we are joining with Focus on the Family in promoting the annual student-led "Bring Your Bible to School Day" this Thursday, October 6th, 2016.
I hope you'll encourage your kids, grand kids, friends, neighbors, and church youth groups to bring their Bibles to school with them on Thursday.
Last year, nearly 155,000 students nationwide participated in Bring Your Bible to School Day. This year, that number is expected to grow to more than 300,000. Momentum is building in a renewed call for religious freedom in our nation, and this is one simple but powerful way to send that message.
This will be a great way to help start meaningful conversations about faith and religious freedom. Hopefully, it will also be an encouragement to many of our students when they see fellow classmates doing the same. In today's environment, it's also important that our students, teachers and administrators be reminded of the freedom students have to express their faith while in school.
This year’s “Bring Your Bible to School Day” comes as confusion continues over students’ religious freedoms. Over just the last 12 months alone, we've witnessed the following incidents:
A police officer was dispatched to a 7-year-old boy’s home after he shared Scripture verses and Bible stories with friends during free time.
A 12-year-old student was instructed to give an "All About Me" PowerPoint presentation to her sixth-grade class, but when she wanted to include a slide with her favorite Bible verse, she was told Bible verses were banned.
Elementary students in Kentucky were looking forward to their performance of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"— until they learned school officials planned to censor Bible verses about the birth of Jesus read by the character, Linus.
Of course, school officials got it wrong in each of these cases. The First Amendment recognizes the rights of students to talk about their faith in school and read their Bible outside of classroom time. With plenty of misconceptions about students' religious freedom floating around and being adopted by mostly well-meaning school administrators, I hope you'll help in setting the record straight by encouraging the students you know to proudly bring their Bible to school with them this Thursday.
Students can sign up to participate and get free, downloadable guides. Elementary, teen and pastor/parent editions are available. Students can follow "Bring Your Bible to School Day" on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and find more information, including the official video and stories from students and parents, at www.bringyourbible.org. The official hashtag is #BringYourBible.