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Christian Students Fight Back Against School's 'Bible Ban'

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Students from a Pennsylvania high school Christian club are claiming their constitutional rights are being violated after they were forbidden from handing out Bibles during the school day.

“In November, members of the Christians in Action Student Club at Mechanicsburg Area High School had attempted to hand out Bibles during the lunch period, but were ordered by administrators to stop,” Penn Live reported.

The Independence Law Center, a religious liberty group, agreed to represent the students.

“We’re hoping not to sue,” Jeremy Samek, senior counsel for the Center, told Fox News.

“The school has told these students that they cannot distribute Bibles to their classmates at any time during the school day, but students don’t lose their constitutional rights to speech when they enter the schoolhouse gate,” Samek added.

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“Schools certainly have the right to limit it to non-instructional times and reasonable places but not to institute absolute bans during the school day, which is what they’ve done here,” he said.

District officials denied that there is a ban on sharing Bibles at the school, but that the student group failed to obtain permission to distribute them, according to Penn Live.

“There is not a ban on the Bible, Torah or the Koran or any other religious material at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School,” the officials said in a written statement. “Students are always permitted to bring, read, share and discuss the Bible at school. We welcome and encourage students with all backgrounds and religious views to express themselves.”

The district noted that there are rules in place to be followed by students or student groups desiring to distribute materials.

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“These rules are established to respect the rights of all students, create a sense of belonging in the school, and ensure there are not disruptions to the school day,” the school district stated.

The district also chastised Independence Law Center saying, “Instead of submitting a request and working with the high school administration in a collaborative manner, the ILC’s approach has evoked negative emotions that divide our school and community.”

“We would gladly engage in a conversation that instead takes the time to consider what is best and inclusive for all students and respects the wishes of many parents in our school community,” the district administrators said.

The ILC fired back claiming that Mechanicsburg Area High School principal, David Harris, specifically denied the students permission to pass out the Bibles.

“Not only did Principal Harris tell these students that they were ‘not permitted to handout Bibles during the school day’ but he also ordered that they not even hand out Bibles outside of the school day unless they were granted permission first from the school,” a statement from the ILC to Penn Live read.

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The Sentinel reported that ILC attorneys planned to attend the Mechanicsburg Area School District school board meeting on Tuesday night to address the Bible ban controversy in person.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 1,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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