Published On: Thu, Apr 13th, 2017

Mississippi: Fellowship of Christian Athletes permitted to hand out Bibles ahead of Good Friday

Student members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) will distribute Bibles, based on Liberty Counsel’s advice, to their Stone County Public High School classmates tomorrow before Good Friday.
FCA members previously sought permission, as a student club, to freely offer Bibles for a personal, peer-to-peer distribution from a manned table in the lunch room during non-instructional time. However, staff with the Stone County Schools put the distribution on hold after becoming concerned by internet research.
A “FindLaw” memo regarding “Bible Distribution in the Public Schools” was cited as authority for a directive that students could only leave Bibles unattended on a table for passersby. Yet this memo did not apply to Stone County student clubs, but applied (if at all) only to non-school organizations.

photo John per wikimedia commons

Liberty Counsel sent a letter on behalf of FCA to the Stone County Public School District presenting the actual law and offered to represent the district if anyone challenged it for allowing the students to express their faith by distributing Bibles. FCA students spoke to the school board, using the letter and Liberty Counsel’s Religious Freedom in the Public Schools Handbook in support of their request. After reviewing the law presented by Liberty Counsel, the School Board decided to allow the student-initiated distribution of Bibles.
“The Stone County School Board made the appropriate decision to allow these students to distribute Bibles during non-instructional time to their fellow classmates,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Students on public school campuses have constitutional protection of free speech, including religious speech. We are elated that the students with Fellowship of Christian Athletes will be able to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in time for Good Friday,” said Staver.
About Liberty Counsel
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
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