A third-grade teacher in Alabama is being investigated after an atheist group accused her of promoting “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
OneNewsNow.com reports that Patsy Smithe, a third-grade teacher at Vestavia Hill Elementary East told her students that on Bring Your Bible to School Day they could bring a Bible, if they received permission from their parents.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), however, alleges that Smithe was promoting Christianity. The FFRF notified the school on behalf of a parent who had complained.
However, according to Pacific Justice Institute president Brad Dacus, announcements such as Smithe gave are perfectly legal, as long as teachers don’t give overt precedence to a particular religion.
“But they also need to make it clear that students who would like to bring something other than a Bible – that's reflective of their faith or that's inspirational to them personally – they should feel free to bring something to class as well,” stated Dacus.
Dacus believes that an investigation into Smithe’s actions is unnecessary.
"For this teacher to be punished in any material way would be way beyond the bounds of reasonableness,” he stated. “But conversely, teachers in the future need to recognize that they need to go way out of their way in such situations to make it clear they are not showing explicit favoritism."
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: November 21, 2016