AHA Sues Missouri School Over Bible Study – UPDATE!
by Temerity Forthright
On December 22, 2016, I alerted readers that the American Humanist Association (AHA) had sued a Missouri Middle School for serving donuts at a Bible Study that was held before school started.
The AHA accused teachers of using donuts as a “bribe” and that, according to AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, “Enticing students to Bible Study with donuts is deceitful and inappropriate during school hours.” The Bible Study was actually held before school started.
The Joplin North Middle School Bible Study group was subsequently suspended by the school district.
UPDATE: The Joplin School District ruled that the middle school Bible Study groups are constitutionally protected! The Bible Study groups will resume in all three Joplin middle schools this week!
If you are keeping score – U.S. Constitution: 1, American Humanist Association: 0
The Bible Study group will meet at Joplin’s North Middle School under a new arrangement that complies with current school board policies. This policy allows community groups to sponsor meetings by renting space in school buildings.
In addition to paying rental fees, the policy also requires that community groups pay potential supplemental fees, such as custodial or food service fees. Groups must also provide proof of insurance. Joplin School Board President Jeff Kock said it is the responsibility of the principal at each middle school to negotiate the space and rental fees for these groups.
Lew Poe, youth pastor of the Wildwood Baptist Church in Joplin, is among a group of youth ministers involved in the middle school Bible Study groups. The youth ministers have been working on a plan that will comply with school board policies and will reinstate the Bible Study groups in all three middle schools in Joplin, Missouri.
The rental fees will be paid through donations collected from churches, local businesses, and individuals, according to Poe. He said community support has been “incredible.”
The Bible Study groups have always been, and will continue to be, voluntary and led by students. School district policy requires that teachers be present to monitor the groups. Presumably, donuts will still be served.
In a society where religious freedoms are under attack, the Joplin School District’s ruling in favor of the student’s First Amendment right of freedom of religion is refreshing. Indeed, the Constitution itself has often been under attack by activist judges and Supreme Court overreach.
Joplin is a small town in southwest Missouri whose claim to fame is being the second city mentioned in the “Route 66” song made famous by Nat “King” Cole. But make no mistake, Joplin was placed center stage in a Constitutional battle in the fight for religious freedom.
But the real winners here are the students who will once again be able to read their Bibles in public and say prayers before school.
This is an example in which young teenagers took a stand and fought for their Constitutional rights and religious freedoms. It’s a ray of sunshine at a time when the light of Liberty seems to grow dimmer every day. These kids are our future leaders.
God bless these outstanding students and God bless America.