Court upholds ban on free Bibles in classroom

/ Source: The Associated Press

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that prohibits the classroom distribution of Bibles to children in a public school.

At issue was a long-held practice at South Iron Elementary School in Annapolis, Mo., in which Gideons International representatives visited fifth-grade classrooms and gave away Bibles.

A federal judge issued a temporary injunction, and a three-judge panel has upheld his ruling.

But Mathew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, which represented the school district, says the ruling concerns a practice no longer in place.

He says the district’s current policy allows people or groups to distribute literature—with approval from the district—before or after school or during lunch break, but not in the classrooms.

Staver says the new policy is open to religious groups beyond the Gideons and is the subject of a pending ruling at the district court level.