From the WMPM news site:
School System Bows To Pressure From ACLU - Under pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Harnett County School system has stopped a long-standing tradition of allowing the Gideons to distribute Bibles to elementary students. Superintendent Dan Honeycutt said they had little choice but to end the distribution. "The American Civil Liberties Union contacted us and said it was a violation of Constitutional rights," Honeycutt said. "They asked us to stop handing out the Bibles." School board attorney Duncan McCormick said he did not recommend trying to fight the case. The national civil rights organization said it was a violation of federal law to hand out religious materials in elementary schools. If the school system tried to fight the ACLU, the school district would have needed to be prepared to take the case all the way to the US Supreme Court. The Gideons International is a worldwide organization that serves as an extended missionary arm of the church, according to their website www.gideons.org. Its purpose is to minister to people of all ages through testimony, and by distributing the Bible in everyday life. Local Gideons members contacted did not wish to comment on the school ban of Bible distribution. ACLU of North Carolina Legal Director Katy Parker said her organization was contacted by someone in the school system with a concern about children receiving Bibles from the Gideons. She said the practice is clearly illegal under federal law and she sent a letter to the local school system complaining about the Bible distribution, which Mr. Honeycutt said has gone on for many years. Parker said the Gideons can be on campuses of high schools under the law but can only distribute religious materials under strict restrictions, in certain circumstances. McCormick said there will still be Bibles in the schools. "This doesn't mean individual students cannot have Bibles," he said. "It means there cannot be distribution of any religious materials in the elementary schools."