A Tennessee branch of the REACH (Reach: Enrichment, Afterschool and Community Health) after school program is under fire for telling a child that he could not read his Bible while at the program.
According to The BLAZE, the child said that REACH staff told him he could not read his Bible because it might cause the program to lose state funding. The REACH employees then tried to take the Bible from him.
Civil rights group American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is defending the boy and has sent a letter to the after school program informing its directors that staff need to be trained on religious rights of children who attend.
Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the organization said, “The goal of our letter is to clarify for the REACH program what seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution protects religious liberty.”
The ACLU’s letter also addressed also addressed a child’s legal right to “engage in religious activities” in free periods as long what they are doing does not disrupt other students.
The REACH program is primarily government funded with an intention of promoting growth and enrichment of students enrolled.