Will Johnston County Schools Ban Gideons?
Proposed policy will prohibit group from distributing Bibles on school campuses
For generations, Gideons International has distributed New
Testaments at Johnston County Schools. If a new school board policy is
passed, that era is over.
The Board of Education, at its Tuesday meeting, is scheduled to vote on a policy regarding the distribution and display of non-school materials.
Johnston County Schools spokesperson Tracey Peedin Jones confirmed the new policy will affect the Gideons.
"If this new policy passes," Jones said, "the Gideons will not be able to distribute Bibles."
Jones said no school policy exists directly related to the distribution of literature by outside agencies.
The Board has been utilizing case law and Supreme Court rulings in making decisions.
"At this point, Jones said, "the Board believes that the school
system needs to implement their own policy that complies with the
latest mandates of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme
The proposed policy states, "Only school-sponsored and
curriculum-related publications and materials may be distributed or
displayed during the school day, on school grounds or at school
At least one area pastor expressed disappointment in the proposed policy.
"Having worked with the Gideons all my life I am aware that it is
becoming more and more difficult for them to get into our schools,"
Micro First Baptist Church Pastor Tim Stevens said.
“It would certainly be sad if at the same time that the Gideons
are finding new opportunities in Russia and China to distribute Bibles
they were excluded from doing so in our own public school system,” Rev.
Troy's commentary: If the policy passes, I hope that ALL such stuff will be stopped. We get constant coupons for circuses, restaurants, fliers, and marketing materials that come home with our son THROUGH THE SCHOOL. I find these items far more offensive than a Gideon's New Testament.
UPDATE: The Johnston County Superintendent of Schools has said that this was in response to the ACLU making a stink about an agnostic group that was denied access to the schools to pass out their literature. Basically, the school system, rather than standing up to them, wants to knuckle under to their pressure.
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