ACLU complains to Nacogdoches ISD over Bibles

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Jeff Awtrey - email

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The American Civil Liberties Union, in a letter today, complained to Nacogdoches ISD over a matter involving Gideons International Bibles.

The ACLU alleges students at Mike Moses Middle School were encouraged by the principal during the lunch hour on Dec. 9 to go in front of the cafeteria and accept a Bible from the Gideons.

A parent of one child reported the incident to ACLU, saying the child did not want a Bible but felt pressured to accept one.

In a letter from the ACLU to Superintendent Dr. Rodney Hutto, which was also sent to media, the ACLU cites a study which alleges the distribution of Gideons Bibles can serve as a distraction to students.

The ACLU also used the Texas Public Information Act to request records concerning the Gideons visiting Nacogdoches schools.

District spokeswoman Marty Prince said NISD had yet to receive the letter, but is researching the situation before making comment on the matter.

"We take the concerns of our students, teachers and community very seriously and were shocked to learn about the ACLU's concerns from local media and the internet," Prince said in a written response.

"At this time we have yet to receive the written correspondence noted in the press release, but we have contacted legal counsel and are researching the situation," Prince concluded.

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