Reading for Pleasure Program Bans Bible
We were recently contacted by the family of a ninth-grade student in
The policy of the school district sets forth that on Mondays and Fridays, students taking the Honors class will participate in the Reading for Pleasure program. The school says, Since reading is such an important part of education, in this class we will reserve time twice a week during which all distractions will be removed and students can simply read for pleasure! A form is given to the parents so that they know what students can read and what is prohibited. According to the policy, students have a wide range of reading material open to them. Books or magazines are fine. Comic books are acceptable. The point of this activity is to allow students to enjoy reading. Therefore, a wide variety of material is acceptable.
The next paragraph of the schools policy says what students cannot read:
Any material that is inappropriate for school is unacceptable. Newspapers (theyre noisy) or picture books (with little or no text) are not acceptable. Material that is unreasonably below grade level is unacceptable. The Bible or other religious texts are not acceptable for RFP. If there is any dispute, the teacher is the final arbiter of what is acceptable in class.
First of all, the Bible cannot be a banned book in this particular program at school. The Department of Education has issued guidelines specifically protecting Bible utilization in the public school system. I have litigated cases over the years where we have had great success on these issues. Simply put, the Bible is not a banned book. Secondly, since when is the teacher the final arbiter of what is acceptable? I thought it was the Constitution of the
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