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Miss. Public School Fined For Violation Of Prayer Order

A federal court found the Rankin County, Miss., school district in contempt of court for refusing to obey an order prohibiting it from official endorsements of Christianity.

The school district previously lost a suit filed by a student over its practice of sponsoring religious school assemblies. At the time, it was ordered to immediately stop promoting religion. Six months later, the same student attended a school honors assembly where a local Metho­dist pastor delivered a prayer. The district also allowed the Gideons to hand out Bibles to students during the school day. 

Weak Defense: Miss. School District Punished For Coercive Prayer Violations Claims Its Officials Don’t Understand First Amendment

A Mississippi school district is in hot water after it invited a Christian pastor to deliver a prayer at a school function, in violation of a court order. But the best (worst) part of this story is the district’s excuse for the violation: its administrators are incapable of understanding the First Amendment.

What’s OK And What’s Not OK: A School Prayer Primer

Yesterday was “See You at the Pole,” an annual event where public school students meet outside the building for a voluntary prayer session (often near a flagpole, hence the name – see this example) usually before the school day begins.

The Religious Right expects Americans United to get all worked up about this. We really don’t – as long as the event is voluntary and student-run and school officials aren’t sponsoring or promoting it.

Another Blunder In Buncombe?: Schools Considering ‘Passive Distribution’ Policy For Religious Literature

Public schools in Buncombe County, N.C., are considering a policy that would permit religious groups to drop off literature for students to read at their leisure.

According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the policy would allow a variety of organizations, including religious ones, to place materials at the school for “passive distribution” one day per school year.

Buncombe’s Bible Battle: Time For Change At A N.C. Public School

Change can be difficult, but it’s often necessary. Just because you’ve been doing something for a long time doesn’t mean you should keep on doing it – especially if what you are doing isn’t legal.

Public education officials in Buncombe County, N.C., are learning this hard lesson right now. The community is ensnared in a flap over the role of religion in its schools. Officials are crafting new policies, and we hope they do the right thing.

Bunk In Buncombe: North Carolina School Allowed Bible Handout, But Balks At Pagan Literature

When the Buncombe County (North Carolina) School System called Ginger Strivelli’s bluff, the Pagan mother of a student at a Weaverville elementary school didn’t back down.

In December, school officials had allowed a local chapter of The Gideons International to make Bibles available at North Windy Ridge Elementary. When Strivelli’s son came home with one, she complained and asked to drop off some Pagan books at the school.

Genesis Of Controversy: Report On Gideons' Bible Distribution Is A Revelation

When I was in college, we could always tell when the relentless western Pennsylvania winter was finally losing its grip by two key events: A roving evangelist would appear on campus and scream at women he thought were immodestly attired, and the Gideons would stand outside the cafeteria and pass out copies of the New Testament.

I didn't mind taking one. After all, I was an adult and it was my choice. But in looking it over, I noticed one thing: The first few pages emphasized the passage John 3:16. Many fundamentalists see this verse as the key to becoming "born again."

Military Mistake Mitigated: Recruit Processing Centers Told To Discontinue Gideon Evangelism

Before American service personnel head off for training, they must make a final stop a Military Entrance Processing Station to have a final physical exam, take the oath of office for joining the armed forces and  get their own copy of the Bible.

That's right. Some of these stations have allowed Gideons International, the group well-known for providing Bibles in hotel rooms around the world, special access to  our troops.

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